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?