Sunday, April 17, 2011

Reading to your kids, is the book for you or them?

If you haven't read this article:

It was brought back into my mind after this:
Which you can go ahead and read.

Picture Books. Who are they for? Are they for the kids or for the parents?

Well, the obvious answer is the kids, right?
But it's not 100% true.

The real answer, drum roll please...................................


Of course I'm going to digress a moment here. Someone was looking at a book and said, "I don't get it." It was a board book with babies holding books. My answer, "It's not for you, it's for the babies." Which is true. The book is something any 0 - 2 year old would drool over, live pictures of babies holding books, short, quick and sweet text, durable thick pages, bright and colorful. But it's not a book that a mom would want to read over and over. It's a quick read, and then you hand it to your child to open/close and chew on. Or it's one you can point to the pictures and talk about what is going on, to build vocabulary. There is not much to "get." It is, in one word, simple. And that is why it is perfect!

But that is a board book.

I'm referring to PICTURE BOOKS.
I LOVE to read picture books too. I love the pictures, I love the text. A good book is fun to read and fun to find things in the picture. An even better picture book lets the pictures tell a hidden story! Watch for it.

But as a parent, it is I reading the books to my kids (well, now they can read, insert sad face), and I have to be drawn to the book too. Otherwise, I read it really, really fast, without much expression and try to get the experience over with as fast as I can..... And that does absolutely nothing for my child, the picture book, our bonding time, or my sense of being a good mom.

Pictures books need to draw both the child and the parent in.

So what's with parents turning to chapter books? One mom said in her quote, which made me want to vomit:

       We both need to enjoy the book, well, especially me.

Wow. What a selfish mom.... Or is she?

If she is buying some of those crap PB's out there (and believe me there are a ton, I won't mention any particular houses...), but yeah, I don't want to read those either.

And reading above your child's reading level is good. But there is a certain interaction in picture book your child is leaving behind if you jump to chapter books without leaving room for PB's too. Do both!

What are my favorite picture books? Oh, I'm so glad you asked!

"It's Almost Time" by Debbie LaCroix, because it's too fun to make all the sounds of the clock!
Anything by Jez Alborough (visit for some of his books)
The Big Hungry Mouse
Bear Snores On
Bobbie Dazzler
Boom Bah
How Big is a Million (it's a very fun series,
Amelia Bedelia (they are sort of a chapter/picture book)
Gingerbread Man, the Usborne Books version rocks
No, That's Wrong
One Night at the Zoo
The Story of Growl
Unique Monique
Any classics are good in fact!
Anything by Eric Carle or Sandra Boyton
I was just introduced to CAPS FOR SALE; A TALE OF A PEDDLER, SOME MONKEYS AND THEIR MONKEY BUSINESS by Slobodkina, Esphyr (very neat!)
Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace Fleming, a brand new fairy tale!
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Click, Clack Moo
Dinosaur Who Lost his Roar
Any Froggy Book!
Harry the Dirty Dog
How Does a Dinosaur Say Goodnight
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Jacob's Got an Overcoat
No David

This is in no way a complete list. These are just ones that I want to read over and over and over.
Billy would add Curious George to the list too, and Dr. Seuss, who I do enjoy, but no more then 3 times each. :-) And there are many others that I love to read, once here, and once there, and I'll pick them up in a few months. But the ones I listed I could read every day for a month and still have fun with them!

I will know when I have succeeded as a writer when a child tells me, "Mommy/Daddy and I read your book every night. It is my favorite."

What is your favorite picture book and why?

1 comment:

  1. Lately it's Goonight Gorilla. The text is spare, but we talk about everything in the pictures.... Charlie Parker played Be Bop is another favorite (it's the sounds) and Chicken Soup with Rice (yes, it's a great book but I'm not sure what in particular draws the child to it).