3 Great Picture Books about the Wonders of Reading
The late Harvard President Charles William Eliot once said, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
Kids who love books won’t know boredom and loneliness. They can find answers to their deepest or most random questions. They can learn countless trivial facts, as well as information that will help them succeed throughout their lives. And best of all, they make endless friends.
The best way to encourage children to appreciate books is by reading to them from a very young age. Show them how fun and absorbing a good book can be. Make all sorts of books readily available to them, and never turn down an opportunity to share one together. Check out these picture books that focus on the wonders of reading:
By William Joyce
Morris Lessmore loves books. He loves to read books and he loves to write books. One day, as he sits on a hotel balcony writing a book about his own life, a horrific wind carries Mr. Lessmore and his books far away. It even blows the words right off the pages!
As he makes his way home, he finds devastation everywhere. Just as things couldn’t seem any bleaker, Mr. Lessmore looks up to see a lovely young lady hovering overhead. She’s holding ribbons that are attached to flapping, flying books, which carry her through the sky. She sends one of the books down to him and flutters away.
The book leads Morris to a library where many other flying books live. He happily becomes caretaker of the books, and begins sharing them with the sad people who lost so much to the windstorm. He even begins writing his memoir once more.
Many years go by. An old man now, Mr. Lessmore has finally completed his life story. He closes the book, content with his life, and begins to walk out of the library when the books begin to flutter and swirl all around him, restoring him to a young man once more and transforming his memoir into a flying book. Several of the books carry him away, just as they did with the woman he encountered so many years ago.
He sends his own book back to the library just as a young girl enters. She sits down on the library steps and begins to read it.
This moving story represents the affection so many people have for books, and the positive effect they can have on our lives.
By Oliver Jeffers
Henry loves books, but not in the way you or I do. Henry loves to eat books. He simply chews them up and swallows them, one page at a time. It doesn’t matter what kind of book it is, either. Henry eats math books, joke books, and even dictionaries.
What’s more, every time Henry eats a book, he becomes smarter. Soon, he’s smarter than his classmates, his father, and even his teacher. He thinks he might become the smartest person in the world.
That is, until one day when Henry begins to feel sick and all of the things he has learned and they all get jumbled up in his brain. Sadly, he decides that he shouldn’t eat books anymore.
After a while, Henry picks up a book off the floor. Instead of eating it, Henry decides to try reading only to discover he loves to read books just as much as he loves to eat them. And although it may take a little longer, he decides he can still work on becoming the smartest person in the world.
This silly story with colorful pictures helps kids comprehend what reading can do for them in a lighthearted and whimsical way. (Just make sure young ones realize books are never for eating!)
By Judy Sierra
The Springfield librarian (Molly McGrew) accidentally drives a bookmobile into the zoo. Deciding to make the most of the situation, Molly climbs out, sits down, and begins to read aloud.
Soon, all sorts of animals want to hear stories and check out books for themselves. Molly teaches the creatures how to take care of borrowed books and read on their own.
They don’t stop at reading, though. The animals love all the books so much, that they decide to write their own. Snakes use their tails, penguins write with their bills, and porcupines dip their quills in ink. The bugs write poetry.
Before leaving the animals, Molly helps them build their own library so that they can continue to enjoy reading books.
Perhaps the best part of this story is that the animals decide they love books so much, they decide to author them. Even the gazelle, who couldn’t spell very well, wrote her own story.
After reading this book, encourage your child to write a book. Make it a project and create a cardboard cover together, binding the pages using a hole punch and yarn.
Introducing your young children to the wonders of books is like giving them a gift that will truly last a lifetime.
What’s your reading routine with the kids like? What are some of their favorite picture books? Share with us!
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