Picture This… Why I Love Picture Books.


Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

‘ You cannot write for children… They’re much too complicated. You can only write books that are of interest to them.’

‘I have to accept my role. I will never kill myself like Vincent Van Gogh. Nor will I paint beautiful water lilies like Monet. I can’t do that. I’m in the idiot role of being a kiddie book person.’


‘There’s so much more to a book than just the reading.’

I don’t write for children. I write and someone says it’s for children.’

Maurice Sendak.
OK I admit I’m a bit of a stuck record, but I really do love picture books.

Wonderful, amazing, creative, challenging, funny, heart-breaking, tragic, unbelievable,  fabulous picture books. They are not just a vital stepping stone into higher level reading. They are the missing link. They can develop in all Learners the ability to explore, notice, question, predict, summarise, theorise and analyse. Mary Roche writes wonderfully on this in her book ‘Developing Children’s Critical Thinking through Picturebooks’

Picture book are often dismissed as being for younger children. They’re not! They are written off as easy. They’re not! There are some stunning picture books out there. Many offer us more than first appears. Many require us to bring in our own cultural understanding to truly make meaning of them.  People who dismiss them more often than not haven’t put the time in to understand and explore them.

So the aim of this post is to show  why I think picture books are blummin’ ace


My Father’s Arms are a Boat by Stein Erik Lunde and Oyvind Torseter

They elicit emotion. (often in my case tears)



Visions of Ichabod by Gary Crew

They confuse and challenge.



The Journey by Francesca Sanna

They broach difficult issues in wonderful ways.



Mirror by Jeanie Baker

They open doors to other cultures.



Journey by Aaron Becker

They provide leaps of imagination



A Place To Call Home by Vivian Schwartz and Alexis Deacon


They are wild and playful



We found a Hat by Jon Klassen



They are quiet and thoughtful



Wolves by Emily Gravett

They require the reader to fill in the gaps



Erika’s Story by Ruth Vander Zee and Roberto Innocenti

They are most definitely not for kids

As BridgetBurke2  said on twitter  ‘People who dismiss picture books have no souls, thats a well known fact.’

I‘m going with Bridget on that one.


Just fab books.



2016 faves

1 thought on “Picture This… Why I Love Picture Books.

  1. Pingback: Why Picturebooks are Important…TES article archive #1 | Being Brave! a first time headteachers blog.

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