As an English Teacher sometimes I am asked by parents why I have chosen a book with very little text, or a book that offers a very short and seemingly unchallenging story. The answer to this question is quite simple. Children learn through pictures. Young children soon pick up the short text of a picture book, if it is shared with an adult who brings the illustrations on the pages to life. Children can then develop their own sense of the world through the pictures and relate short stories to their own rather big experiences.
From a very young age children speak in narrative style so it is easy for them to pick up the text of a short story and use it in everyday language. It is also through their own stories of everyday experiences that they define themselves and are able to express their ideas, hopes and emotions in language as well as in drawing and imaginative play.
I recently popped over to Amazon and found an ideal book for children who are just beginning to speak. There are two in the series at present and are vividly illustrated. The two books in question are: Jonathan the Red Head goes to bed and Jonathan the Red Head has a friend. What I found so appealing about these books is that they are so vividly illustrated and the stories are very real. Each and every child goes to bed each night and with the experience of reading the book with Mom the child learns the outcome of that particular experience and the child is then able to build up a simulated experience along with an adult who can make the story a reality.
Sharing picture books with your child is not only about developing your child’s language ability; it is also about giving your children a wider outlook on the world. The one-to-one interaction of sharing picture books gives a child an added opportunity to develop at their own speed, knowing that they are being encouraged by an adult that they look up to. As children share more and more books with parents and teachers their self-confidence develops. This can often be seen in the way they approach the unfamiliar and engage in new experiences.
Book two is ideal for a child who is just starting out in life. Maybe visiting a Moms and tots groups with Mom or even just starting out at kindergarten or school. Most children suffer from the apprehension of joining an established group, once in, most are able to play and relate to the other children. Book two is ideal for this as it shows the child that everything will be OK. When the adult explains and embellishes the book to the child it helps to develop the child’s imagination.
The Jonathan the Red Head series is a great start for new author Perl R. Brenner; the books show that she has a real flair for understanding what children need. It’s a shame that the books are only available on Kindle as these books would transfer perfectly into a paperback version.