Thursday, December 9, 2010

'Picture Books Do Still Work For Kids'

This article was sent to me by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick on Facebook. From CBSNews.com, it is written bu Dr. Deborah Pope, director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. It (somewhat) addresses a previous article in The New York Times that stated parents have been pushing their children away from picture books and on to 'chapter books' in order to challenge them early to help them perform better in an increasingly competitive environment. But, as quoted here by Pope...
"If a parent pushes a child through their developmental stages too quickly, the child often ends up frustrated and behind later on",
 and further,
"Picture books nurture a child's ability to conceptualize. At this early stage, they're learning to connect the dots -- following the events of a story from beginning to end and linking images with words to develop the mind's eye. Armed with this experience, they'll eventually make an easy leap to more text-heavy chapter books."
Very valid points, indeed. I believe that we have developed a tendency to take picture books away from children at far to young an age. The development of their visual literacy allows them to create expanded patterns of thinking and reasoning. It increases the capacity for further and varying types of literacy throughout life. And the huge amount of joy picture books give children is irreplaceable. It's great to see an expert defend picture books.
For anyone interested in the many different aspects of picture books and childhood (and social/societal) development, I can whole-heartedly recommend the book How Picturebooks Work (Children's Literature and Culture) by Maria Nikolajeva and Carole Scott.

And, here's the link to the article: 

p.s. Thank you, Marie-Louise

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