I hope you have a bunch of Easter candy to munch on, or your chocolate cupcake with mocha because I’ve got a surprise for you.
Do you remember how I’ve been introducing you to friends I’ve met on the internet? Well here is Vivian Kirkfield, the author of “Show Me How.” I met her here on my blog a while ago and she said yes when I asked her to do a guest post. Since I’m interested in picture books I wanted to get to know her better and was so glad she accepted my invitation. What better way to wait for my book to get finished than by reading what Vivian has to say about picture books. Take it away, Vivian.
A PICTURE BOOK IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS: USING PICTURE BOOK MESSAGES TO HELP YOUNG CHILDREN
Can you remember the first picture book that was read to you?
My love affair with picture books began over sixty years ago as I helped my mother turn the pages of The
Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. From that day to this one, my life has been filled with reading, researching and writing picture book stories. ..I’ve read over 20,000 picture books as a kindergarten teacher, daycare provider and mom of three.
“Read me one more story, please!”
Just about every parent and teacher of young children has heard this plaintive cry. Kids love to listen to picture book stories…and they enjoy cuddling close to daddy in a comfy chair or leaning back on mommy’s lap as they help to turn the dog-eared pages of a beloved book.
So…reason number one for reading picture books to young children is for entertainment and enjoyment and to strengthen the parent-child connection.
Some of the other reasons:
- Picture books help develop story sense…they have a beginning, a middle and an end.
- Picture books allow children to practice the sounds of language…repetition, rhyme and rhythm.
- Picture book illustrations help children understand the story and develop an appreciation for art.
- Picture books contain messages that can help young children deal with many of the challenges they face in their formative years.
I’d like to say a little more about the messages in picture books because I am passionate about using them to build self-esteem. Reading with young children engages them in the world between the pages and encourages them to relate the events that are happening in the book to their own experiences. While reading the story and during the discussion that follows, parents or teachers have a wonderful opportunity to address current problems and on-going issues. Also, children are more likely to respond openly and honestly if they have just heard the character in the story is in a similar situation.
Here’s an example: There is a new baby in the house and your 3 or 4 year-old is showing signs of jealousy. Whenever you go to feed the baby, your preschooler demands your attention. You’ve also been told by her preschool teacher that she is not sharing the way she used to. This is a common situation…after all, why should she be happy about having to share your time and attention with this noisy smelly little person?
There are quite a few picture books that address the issue of a new baby in the house and sibling rivalry. A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed Julius: The Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes, a story about a little mouse who loved her baby brother BEFORE he was born…but not after! Reading this picture book with jealous older brothers and sisters will encourage them to open up and admit to their feelings. Learning how to express our feelings, whether positive or negative, is one of the most important components of self-esteem. When we truly feel good about ourselves, we are able to reach out lovingly to others.
So, if the messages in picture books can help young children acknowledge and cope with their feelings, fears and concerns, how do parents and teachers know which books to choose from among the many thousands that are in bookstores and libraries?
Please come back tomorrow for some outstanding parent and teacher resources and a simple picture book and activity program that builds self-esteem, develops better literacy skills and creates a life-long parent-child bond.
This is the first of two posts by Vivian. In the next one she will talk more specifically about her book “ Show me How” and tell in detail what it is about and how it helps develop self-esteem. She is a pro at telling parents and teachers how to do this with three specific activities; reading a book, doing a craft and cooking together. Each activity will take about fifteen minutes and pay priceless rewards towards a child’s self esteem in their future.
Let me know in the comments what you think. Do you think these activities help develop self-esteem? If you are a teacher or parent of young kids do you think you could do these activities? Weigh in at the comments. I love hearing from you.
Another invitation is here about Library Nominations and they are now open. Yes, library nominations are now open!
Win a free copy of Show Me How for your local library!
Vivian Kirkfield is donating twenty-five copies of Show Me How to libraries across the country…just leave a comment on Vivian’s posthttp://bit.ly/H6Il0j and tell her why you want your library to receive a free copy of SMH!
At the end of April, Random.org will pick 25 winners. OK, now, you have two comments to make. One on mine to weigh in on this post and one on Vivian’s blog about whether your library would like to win a free book called Show Me How. See you there!
Vivian Kirkfield is a mother of three and an educator and author who lives in the Colorado Rockies. She’s passionate about picture books, enjoys hiking and fly-fishing with her husband, loves reading, crafting and cooking with kids during school and library programs and shares tips and tactics for building self-esteem and literacy in her parenting workshops. To learn more about her mission to help every child become a reader and a lover of books, please visit her Positive Parental Participation blog or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.