Most picture books have 500 words or less. This means authors must be concise, yet rich and engaging, with their choice of text. Reading to children from picture books that contain this distilled and expressive text, enriches a child’s language development. Also, without as many words, children must ask themselves questions about what is happening on the pages. Through this exercise, children develop critical thinking skills.
Long before children become proficient readers, they respond to images in an effort to place themselves, other people and things in their world into context. Picture books help children develop a sense of self, which is critical to their education and mental development.
Picture books encourage reader participation and discussion, which allows their imaginations to explode. While reading a picture book to a child, the caregiver is able to ask questions that allow the child to act out or tell their version of what is happening in the story.
Children are fascinated by the colorful illustrations and the repetition and rhyme that are often part of the text. There is no limit to the joy children can get from picture books!