Today I’d like to share the presentation I did for the Parents Forum at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore last week.
My goal was to give parents an overview of how picture books can be used as tools to
- build self-esteem
- develop literacy skills
- strengthen the parent-child connection
With summer right around the corner, children will be looking for things to do. If you have preschoolers, kindergarteners or kids in the first or second grade, picture books can be a life-saver.
I mentioned that parents make a big investment in their children:
Did you know that Money Magazine did a study in 2011 that showed it costs over $200,000 to raise ONE CHILD to age 18…and that doesn’t include college tuition!
I emphasized the importance of building self-esteem.
Picture books are a great way to connect with a young child because just about every kid loves to listen to picture books. And they are easy for the parents to read, even parents who may not be fond of reading themselves. And they are inexpensive…you can even get as many as you want for free at the library. And they introduce kids to the world of art through the amazing illustrations. And they allow a child to validate his or her own life experiences and concerns as the child hears about the characters in the story who may be having similar problems. And kids who are exposed to books at a young age on a daily basis do better in school.
Oh my goodness…can picture books do all of that?
Yup! All you need is a young child and an adult willing to sit and read with him or her.
I shared several of my favorites with the audience.
What are your favorite picture books? Please share with us.
Congratulations again to Tina Chen author of Mommynificent and the winner of the Kid Lit Giveaway Blog Hop prize package. I mailed it out this morning. What perfect timing for her to receive a copy of my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, as well as a bunch of craft supplies and a copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. I know the book will give her lots of picture book suggestions and hundreds of activities for the long hot summer days.
Enjoyed what you shared in one of your talks at the festival. Great material! You are really launching yourself as an expert in this area and doing things you haven’t imagined in the last year or so. You have such insight and much to share with parents!
Oh my dear Pat…you are very kind. Sometimes it is hard for me to believe that I have put myself out there in this way…out of my former comfort zone, for sure. But, when I see myself in a photo of the event, I look quite at ease. 🙂 I think, when we talk about what we are passionate about, we forget our fears.
A good picture book will either make you feel (laugh, cry, etc), or think,or both. I think the best picture books are the ones your kids are to read over and over again, no matter what the books are. Kids will then retell the story on their own, page by page. They love it!
You have that right, Milka! When kids enjoy a book, they want to hear it over and over again…as an aspiring picture book writer, that is my hope…to write a book that kids will say, “Please, read it again!”
I have to tell you that the books my kids enjoy the most over and over are the funny stories. If they had a great laugh the first time, they want to laugh again. And again. Even though they know what happens. I think kids truly enjoy laughing just for the opportunity of it.
Milka…that is so good to know…and great advice for picture book writers…and perfect writers in general. I’m working on a picture book right now that is pretty funny…about a little girl who doesn’t want her noisy, smelly (he farts) little brother to spoil her birthday party and she finds an ingenious way to get rid of him…but begins missing him by the end of the second day, so much so that she doesn’t enjoy her party. Will she ever get him back? I’m going to submit it to the 12×12 agent this month. 🙂
Oh yes, I remember now. I told you about a similar funny book about a big brother getting rid of his little brother. My kids loved that story because it was so ridiculous but at the same thing, they empathize with the big brother being annoyed. Our favorite children’s books definitely are the funniest ones. Good luck!
Yup, I remember you mentioned it…The Birthday Book or something like that. Thanks for the good wishes…we will see what happens. 🙂 At the conference, I went to the First Pages session and had submitted 100 words of a picture book manuscript (not the Birthday one) and they read it out loud and loved it…all three ‘judges’ said it had beautiful language and that they would definitely turn the page. 🙂 I submitted that one to the May 12×12 agent…fingers crossed. 🙂
There are so many great picture books I can’t pick a favorite! I think I would’ve LOVED your presentation! 😀
Erik, you are amassing such a huge number of books read, picture books and many others…I’m not sure how you could remember all that you’ve read. 🙂 And I would have LOVED to have you there…who knows…maybe next year. 🙂
Sounds like you’ll be invited back again and again, Vivian. 😀
I hope so, Nancy! Now that I know I can do it, I want to go EVERYWHERE…Singapore last week…what’s next? 🙂
Hey Vivian, I was going over the GIANT list of picture books I’ve read in the last six months and “I’m Not” by Pam Smallcomb stood out. It is perfect for applying the “Show Me How” technique. I could probably name a zillion picture books I love. . . 🙂 but I won’t – yet.
Woo-hoo!!! You did it, Sheri! Awesome…I’m glad it worked. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this book…I’ve NOT read ‘I’m Not’. 🙂 🙂 But I will have to get a copy and see what craft, etc. I could match up with it. Thanks for coming by, Sheri…yet another way to spend those precious minutes that you already don’t have. 🙂
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Vivian, this is wonderful.
Well done, and your picture is great. Hear the applause!
So good to hear your words of encouragement, Marylin! It was a total blast and I would go back in a heartbeat! By the way, are you planning to go to the fall SCBWI conference, Letters and Lines? If so, maybe I will finally get to meet you in person.:)
I LOVE picture books. After my first two years as a kindergarten teacher, I moved ad found out I had accumulated over 300 pounds of books!! And that was years ago. I’m scared to know what I have now! I have so many favorites! Some current favorites include the Little House picture book by Renee Graff, the Little Blessings books by Dandi Daley McCall, and Max Lucado’s picture books.
Hi Tina! Thanks for stopping by to share some of your favorite picture books! Yes, I know what you mean…I’m afraid the weight of the books in our bookcases and shelves is going to permanently warp the wood…hopefully the floors won’t cave in. 🙂 My husband also collects books…on fishing and bamboo rods. 🙂 If you can, please let me know when you get the prize package I sent to you. 🙂
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