I love reading, I love books of all sorts. A beautiful picture book will have me showing everyone and buying extra copies to give as gifts.
I admit, I look at picture books through the eyes of an adult.
I appreciate the detail in the illustrations, the way they complement the text. I rejoice whenever the author has used an unusual word as I know it will help to improve a child’s vocabulary. I look at the story and the messages it shares with readers. In short, I look at these books through the eyes of an adult.
I’m not quite sure when this happened. Quite possibly around the time I stopped reading picture books to my kids. My children got to the point where they insisted they could read a bedtime story to themselves, or they wanted chapter books rather than picture books read to them.
Even though I still occasionally read to my nephews, they also grew up quickly and wanted chapter books read to them, almost before I was ready to give up picture books.
A month ago, I was reminded, by my 3 year old nephew, that I need to remember to look at a picture book through the eyes of a child. I was reading The Voyage by Robert Vescio and Andrea Edmonds. It’s a beautiful book and the illustrations are stunning. I looked at it through the eyes of an adult, and was going to review it accordingly.
My nephew, on the other hand, loved this book and got us to read it to him over and over again. He would ask questions about the pictures, have fun finding the duck in each picture, and tell others reading the same book that they had to read more than just the one word on each page.
Thinking about my nephew, this book was absolutely spot on. It started a conversation about refugees in a way a 3 year old could understand (although he still wants to know who was having a war and why they were fighting).
The lesson to me is that I need to remember to look at picture books through the eyes of a child. After all, picture books are created with children in mind, not just their parents, or aunties who read to them.