We would be lying if we said that we have never been compelled to browse the pages of a book simply because its pictures were alluring. Picture books engage us in ways that books with only text usually don't. They exert great influence on the reader for the obvious fact that they are visually delightful. Moreover, they have the power to convey emotions and ideas in an easy and relatable way for children beginning their reading journey.
Let's find out the importance of reading picture books.
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Advantages of Reading Picture Books
Picture books should not be confused with illustrated books. In picture books, the pictures convey the story and the text supports it. However, in illustrated books, the text is dominant and illustrations only help enhance the story. Picture books are especially useful for young children who are taking their first steps into reading. Let’s look at some of the advantages that picture books offer:
Introduces children to the concept of reading
Even before children learn to make meaning of text, they learn by seeing objects and pictures. Picture books are a precursor to reading text. By reading these books, children get interested in stories and reading on the whole. They are more likely to read text-based books if they have been exposed to picture books early in their life.
Enhances comprehension skills
In picture books, since most of the story is conveyed through graphics, it leaves plenty to be deciphered. Children have to make sense of the plot, events, characters and mood through pictures. When an adult reads a picture book with a child, it helps prompt conversations about the story and makes children enjoy the process all the more.
Strengthens visual thinking skills
Picture books help children relate to what they observe and form mental connections between images and words. They learn to make meaning of the world around them. It is fascinating for young children to see their ever-expanding world captured in picture books.
Helps develop language skills
The language used in picture books is precise and poignant as fewer words convey more. The text is rich and engaging. Hence, it is a great tool to teach language to beginners.
Helps children become better listeners
Since picture books are largely a read-aloud experience, children learn to focus on what they hear. This prepares them for developing their listening skills later in life.
Helps children make connections in real life
The stories in picture books convey everyday feelings and challenges that a young child is likely to face. When a child reads about characters experiencing the same problems and emotions as him, he knows that he is not alone. Therefore, he becomes better equipped to deal with the situations in real life.
To help you pick the best picture books published in India for your child, we bring you some recommended ones in this category:
Days with Thathu (2-4 years)
Story: Geeta Dharmarajan
Illustrated: Nancy Raj
A sweet story about the warm and special bond that children and grandparents share. This story with simple words but a deep meaning is bound to take us back to the times when we spent magical moments with our grandparents. The black and white illustrations with only one colour in corners are striking.
Siri’s Smile (3-5 years)
Story: R Amarendran
Illustrated: Bhakti Pathak
A fetching story about a little girl who realizes that she is meant to smile and carries on doing it. The text is a perfect mix of prose and verse. The colourful illustrations are gorgeous.
Best Friends are Forever (4-6 years)
Story: Richa Jha
Illustrated: Gautam BanegalThe heartwarming story brings out the beautiful bond between two best friends and the sadness that they experience when they are about to get separated. It is a wonderful book to help young children deal with everyday emotions.
My Colourful Pencils (5-7 years)
Story: Massoumeh Ansarian
Illustrated: Fatemeh Fazel
Yet another great story to help young children tackle everyday issues; in this case that of boredom. A little girl realizes that her colour pencils are her best friends and she can stay occupied and happy with them. The illustrations are astonishing and one of the best available.