Recently, the New York Times article published “Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children.” It turns out that their reporter inaccurately quoted a source and frankly, I wasn’t surprised – but that isn’t why I’m writing this post. Here’s what I do wonder . . .
Do we have a cultural paradigm that children shouldn’t be reading picture books because “good readers read chapter books”?
*(Despite the fact that most picture books are written at a high reading level with challenging vocabulary?)
How do we get children to pick picture books as well as chapter books?
Here’s what works with my third grader (eight-year old) – and I wonder if it can apply your kids, too. Does 1 + 2 = 3?
1. I provide the picture books.
At the library, Ani goes straight for the chapter book section. She won’t pick out picture books. So, . . . I do. Not only do I check out picture books, as you know, I get sent a ton of books to review for Colorado Parent magazine. Needless to say, we always have lots of picture books in our house.
2. I leave the picture books lying around.
I’m not a big neat freak – and we often have piles of books lying around not put in shelves. I watch as my daughter methodically reads through all the picture book piles. Sometimes I even ask her for her “help” in reviewing the books – and to read certain stacks. Sometimes, she surprises me with what she likes — books I think are kind of boring! She’s a huge non-fiction fan and right now is loving an A to Z of the Revolutionary War picture book.
3. Then daughter reads picture books.
Ani loves reading picture books, and sometimes wants me to read aloud the books to her – which I do!
What do you notice with your kids or students?
Do you think my method would work for your kids?
Download my "Can't Put 'Em Down" book lists for your kids ages 3 - 13.
Also, I'll send you a bonus "23 Reasons to Read" printable poster!