Reading a picture book has become obsolete

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Technology has its advantages in motivating us to learn more, think differently, and reach new heights in understanding and experiencing all the world has to offer. However, should we forgo the gift to our senses that a newspaper, magazine, favorite book provides to our fingers, our nose, or our feelings?

Stepping Stones Together sat down with president of Little One Books and we share a similar sentiment about the power of literacy and reading books.

We are happy to share her recent thoughts on the power of picture books.

When was the last time you spent $15 for a children’s product that was used over and over again? For parents and grandparents of children five and under, the answer would likely be the last time they purchased a picture book. A quality picture book has the potential to stimulate a child’s imagination and create a foundation for future learning.

It appears that we are not buying nearly enough children’s picture books. Bookstores are cutting back on their inventory, publishers are not signing new authors and everyone seems to be discounting.

Perhaps the problem is not the picture book itself, but the vast amount of products available in today’s market. A Google search for “children’s picture books” brings up more than 48 million results. Do we really need all those choices? When it comes to exposing young children to top rate picture books, it’s about the quality of the experience not the number of choices available. Picture books with compelling stories that children can relate to, and creative illustrations that enhance them, will be a staple with children through the formative years and beyond.

However, with so few children’s bookstores left, it’s become increasingly difficult to locate experts who can steer us towards the best picture books available, and harder still to find all those great titles we remember from our own childhood.

Today, libraries are a great laboratory for assessing the popularity of children’s picture books. Children’s librarians strive to carry the best of the best in children’s literature. If you go to the children’s section of any library, you’ll find a limited selection of great books. You’ll see lots of children sitting at small tables or on the floor flipping through the pages of books as they study the pictures. You’ll also see parents asking their children questions as they read aloud to them.

Are picture books the next casualty of the digital age?

Reading is not about recognizing words, but becoming immersed in the nuances of the story. Picture books foster young children’s creativity and imagination and allow them to develop their own stories over and over again.

What are your favorite books? Does reading them online really satisfy your reading senses? We’d love to hear from you!