“That’s a Baby Book!”

4 May

One of the saddest things I hear far too often is, “That’s a baby book, go find something more appropriate.”  This is said to kids in my library at all ages and stages, but it often happens with those kids who are reading easy readers and beginning chapter books, but are drawn to our bright, colorful and fun picture books.  Parents say these words without thinking about what they mean to kids and it breaks my heart.

Reading aloud is important for pre-readers, but it shouldn’t automatically stop once a child  begins reading on their own.  Families can read together as a way to come together in the evening before bedtime, for a few minutes before the crazy day begins, or even at the dinner table.  Reading together shows children that as an adult you value that time spent together as a family and that you value and appreciate books.  Book sharing equates fun and cuddles with books, which in a child’s mind means “books=fun.”  And that’s a very good thing.

Are beginning readers and those making the transition into chapter books too old to read picture books?  Not at all!  In fact, picture books have much richer vocabulary than easy readers do, which can be used to expand a child’s personal vocabulary.  In fact, many parents may find they are surprised by the vocabulary words they find in picture books.  I just read a book in storytime, Way Up High In a Tall Green Tree by Jan Peck that had beautiful vocabulary including animals like boas, sloths and an animal I had never heard of called a kinkajou.  I had to take a few minutes to research kinkajous and then was so excited to share what I learned with my kids at work.  And for those of you who don’t know – a kinkajou is also called a honey bear and is rainforest animal that is related to a raccoon.

Which is why, whenever I have a class visit the library, I always make a point of talking about our picture book collection and explain how picture books are marked “E” on the spine label which means for everyone!  So adults, let your kids grab a few picture books (and pick up those easy readers for practice) to encourage your kids to truly enjoy and have fun with books – that is what leads to lifelong readers!  Picture books aren’t “baby” books – they’re books for the whole family, enjoy them!

Check out these posts from awesome parents, librarians and teachers about vocabulary-rich picture books:

Pragmatic Mom – http://www.pragmaticmom.com/category/literacy-school-subjects/sat-vocab-in-picture-books/

Growing Book by Book – http://growingbookbybook.com/books-kids-getting-excited-vocabulary/

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2 Responses to ““That’s a Baby Book!””

  1. colarosad May 4, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

    Thank you for your great post! I 100% agree and love how you worded it so eloquently!

    • literacious May 4, 2016 at 2:21 pm #

      I don’t know about eloquent, it’s just something that’s been on my mind lately and I hope that I can make a difference! Thanks for taking the time to read my post!

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