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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Life Lessons from Picture Books

Psychology Today recently published an article titled The Value of a Picture Book: 5 Life-Lessons Your Child Gets From Stories. I first saw mention of this article at Kid Tested, Librarian Approved, another great blog for those of you who want to keep up with current titles and trends in picture books. See? I can play nice sometimes...

Psychology Today writer Pam Allyn discusses how picture books can model universal themes such as empathy (Mama, I'll Give You the World by Roni Schotter), patience (Catching the Moon by Myla Goldberg), importance of imagination (Dream Carver by Diana Cohn), curiosity (Becoming Butterflies by Anne Rockwell) and community (Amber on the Mountain by Tony Johnston). She begins by saying:
Reading a book is a unique opportunity to see the world from another person or thing's perspective. When a child reads a book, whether it is a fantastical story about an object come to life or a very real article about a neighboring country, he or she becomes a part of that world and sees life, however briefly, through the eyes of another. Children are uniquely able to accept and invest in the reality created in what they are reading.
Couldn't have said it better myself! These are just a few of the advantages of picture books I've been preaching through this blog for nearly a year now. Check out the whole article, since Allyn includes more titles for each theme which might find a place in your classroom library.

Looking for other reasons to use picture books in the classroom? Be sure to check out my static site Teaching with Picture Books which describes thirteen reasons why teachers in grades 3-8 should be using picture books in their instruction.


Playing by the book said...

So glad to see this post. I recently reviewed a non fiction book called "Owning Up" which is part of the “Growing Up” series – a collection of books which are “about everyday situations in every child’s life, [and] show children ways of working things out together” - they cover similar ground to that in the psychology today article, but with NO imagination, and I lamented that good picture books can cover this issues so much better.If you're interested the review is at: Do you know this database:

It's great for searching for picture books with themes like those covered in your post.