Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Open Mic Wednesday - The importance of picture books Part 1

I have loved picture books my entire life.  Being a visual learner the illustrations between those covers were very important to me. They breathed life into the words on the page and made them dance right before my very eyes.  

As I grew older the love of picture books grew more and more.  I often found myself citing them in high school essays and even in university ones. ( I worried sometimes that I was abnormal and should just leave those "childish" books behind and get on with adult reading) but to no avail.... they were woven into my heart.  I also observed that the recipients of those essays found my resources refreshing and invigorating to read and process.    

I had my favourite childhood books that I lovingly placed in my  children's library in my room growing up.  When I was a kindergarten (and beyond) teacher I referred to my books not only as teaching tools within my classroom but as a beautiful, fun way to ignite imaginations and instill a lifelong love of reading into my students.   

I then met a magical professor at the University of Toronto, David Booth, when I took some summer drama classes under his direction at the University of Toronto.  

About David Booth...


David Booth is a renowned educator and professor emeritus in the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Department at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. As a classroom teacher, consultant, speaker, and writer he has delighted thousands with his energy, enthusiasm, and commitment. He is well known as an international speaker, having worked with teachers and administrators throughout Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and Asia. He is the author of dozens of books for teachers, educators, and parents such as Even Hockey Players Readand The Literacy Principal, and is an award-winning writer of picture books for children. He is a program consultant for Scholastic’s Timeline graphic novel series. (Scholastic Canada).For more than 25 years David Booth has worked with teachers in creating, applying, and evaluating approaches to how children learn to read and write.
David joins the Headwaters Academy Advisory Team as the leader of our Academic Growth team.

Oh boy, I discovered  he was the epitome of kid-book mania and a gentle kindred spirit to admire and emulate.  I was invited into his office to chat at the beginning of the first course I took with him, along with other members of my class, and I remember looking at his floor-to-ceiling bookshelves that were just loaded with his favourite children's lit picks and I sighed a lonnnngggg .....  sigh ..... of relief.  I was not abnormal at all, somebody was just like me.  This highly intelligent, held-in-very-high-esteem guru of drama loved kid's books to the moon and back too! Oh my!  His great passion for quality kid's lit (especially in rhyme), and the energy and fun he exuded channelling his enthusiasm to others was truly inspiration and life-changing for me.  

Let me talk to you in the next few weeks during my Open Mic Wednesday's why kid's books are not just for kids and why they are very important to a child's literary growth and language development. Hopefully I can shed more light showing you how to engage children and enhance their reading experience.  

Wrapping up...

Why Picture Books Are Important by Mike Curato
Picture books are important…

…because when Danny opened Locomotive, he got to go on his dream vacation across the country on a train in the 1800s.

…because Christine was in a bad mood, but when her mom read Crankenstein to her, it made her laugh.

…because when Marie opened Last Stop on Market Street, she saw people just like her.

…because Naresh always wondered where babies came from, so his dad read him The Baby Tree.

…because Suzanna felt like someone really understood what her life without sound is like when she read Wonderstruck.

…because after reading Have You Seen My Dragon? for the sixteenth time, Brandon could count to 10 all by himself!

…because when Jenny and Wanda read Frog and Toad, Jenny liked to play Frog and Wanda liked to play Toad. They read with silly frog voices.

…because after reading Louise Loves Art, Tom turned his bedroom into his own art gallery.

…because when Mihn read Where the Wild Things Are, his room turned into a forest, and he went on his own wild rumpus.

…because when Tina read Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla, it made her cry, but in a good way.

…because when my mom used to read me The Little Red Caboose every night, I didn’t feel so bad being little and last.

Don't you just love the above!  It's a perfect wrap.  

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Read on and read always! 
It's a wrap.

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