Children love illustrated books for several reasons. They are simple yet heartwarming stories about life, friendship, and adventure.
They also help decode words and develop reading vocabulary and critical listening skills. They also build social skills like conversation and communication, which are crucial for a child’s development as an adult.
They Help in Decoding Words
When children first learn to read, they often encounter words they don’t know. Pictures are helpful tools for decoding these problematic words because they provide context, allowing children to make educated guesses about the comment and its meaning.
In addition to teaching children to decode words, illustrated children’s book help them understand the storyline. For example, in the book “The Lion and the Mouse,” visual clues tell a young reader what is happening.
This interactive book benefits younger children by allowing them to participate in the story. They can point at the illustrations and say things like “That’s a bear” or “I can see the lion in there.” This helps them develop text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections.
They Help in Developing Reading Vocabulary
When kids are introduced to new vocabulary words, they can often use the illustrations in picture books to help them figure out what the word means. This is a good strategy for teaching English learners to read and can also be helpful for younger children who have trouble with language.
Moreover, pictures in children’s books can also help kids learn about the world around them. For example, a story about a trip to the moon may include images that show kids different aspects of the planet.
They Help in Developing Critical Listening Skills
Children reading picture books with colorful illustrations become more engaged in reading and are more likely to develop a love for reading. They also become better listeners and can follow what is being said without speaking out loud.
They also learn new words as they are read and increase their vocabulary by 12% over time. This is important for future learning and communication skills.
When kids listen to a story, they can practice their critical listening skills, which help them when they enter school, and they are later expected to speak up in class. They also become more confident in asking questions, another critical skill for kids to develop.
They Help Developing Creativity
When children are provided with colorful books, they are more inclined to stick with them compared to plain ones. This becomes their very first motivational factor in developing reading habits.
The images in these books also help build their language skills and vocabulary. Studies have shown that reading picture books help increase a child’s vocabulary by 12%.
The art styles used in children’s book illustrations vary from cartoony linework to painted fantasy realism. The storylines are also quite diverse.
They Help in Developing Social Skills
The subject matter in picture books can introduce social cues and cultural differences that encourage social-emotional development. They can also hone social language skills, reinforce positive behavior, and provide the spark for thoughtful discussions.
As a psychologist, children’s books are the perfect place to explore emotions, coping strategies, and social interactions. Providing children with the opportunity to experience different moods and feelings is essential in helping them develop emotional intelligence, which is critical for their overall well-being.
Having strong social skills increases a child’s confidence in new social situations and helps them build the soft skills necessary for success in their adult lives. In my practice, I often use children’s books to help spark conversations on social-emotional learning in the classroom.