In Reading Picture Books WITH Children, Megan Dowd Lambert introduces readers (presumably adult readers) to the whole book approach of reading picture books with children. The whole book approach pays attention to the whole book. Not just the text. Not even just the text and the illustrations. But to the whole book:
- the size of the book--is it big, is it small; is it in landscape or portrait orientation;
- the design of the book--what font(s) are used, what size font(s) are used, how does the font appear on the page, etc;
- the appearance of the book jacket (front, back, spine); the appearance of the book cover underneath the book jacket; is it the same as the book jacket or different? what materials were used on the cover; how was it bound, etc.
- the endpapers; are the endpapers the same in the back as they are in the front; what do they add to the story, etc.
- the front matter; does the story begin before the 'first page' of the text; does it contribute anything to the story;
- the arrangement of the text and illustrations; how much white space is used on a page, are the illustrations on a two-page spread connected or separate; are the illustrations small or big; are the illustrations framed; do they take up the whole page, etc.
- the text itself; what it says, the story, the characters, etc.)
- the illustrations; the style, the technique, the details, the art and craft of it all, etc.
Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of a picture book. Each chapter includes multiple examples and shares practical advice. Readers see what types of questions Lambert has in mind. Questions like: "What's going on in this picture? What do you see that makes you say that? What more can we find?" She does include a chapter on sample questions. Here are just a few as an example:
- How does the jacket seem like a poster for the book, pulling us in as readers? What grabs your attention here?
- What information does the jacket give us about the story?
- How does the way the words look tell us how to read the words aloud?
- Does anyone else have a different idea about this picture?
© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews