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A Picture Book is Worth a Thousand Words

by Babs Hadjusiewicz February 11, 2014

A common challenge when reading aloud is that it often seems like a child is only interested in the pictures, not the story. What's the point of reading if your baby isn't interested, right? 

In fact, good readers love pictures that help them make sense of a story. She's enjoying those pictures and, most likely, she's pointing and saying words that name things in those pictures––that's a very important step in her learning-to-read journey. 

Capitalize on her interest in the pictures. Ask her to find and name some of those details in the picture. And elaborate on the details. For example, if she names a pictured car, ask her if the car is a van. Is it an SUV or a jeep? Frame your questions around model names you know she's heard. 

Pretend you are that car and talk about how you're feeling about what's happening in the picture or about having your tires pumped up with air. Talk about where you're about to travel, how you're going to cruise uphill and down, and where you'll need to stop when your "tummy gauge" shows your tank is empty. 

When your child is still choosing that picture book for story time, you might use your imagination (and hers!) to add all sorts of words and ideas to those pictures. As appropriate, include some of the book's words. And soon, she'll be pointing to words on that page to ask you what those words say. She'll be getting meaning as she's connecting words to the pictures and pictures to the words. That's what reading is all about! 



Babs Hadjusiewicz
Babs Hadjusiewicz


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