ERIC Number: ED364911
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Picture Books and the Making of Readers: A New Trajectory. NCTE Concept Paper No. 7.
Picture books enable children to experience "reading" from a very early stage in their lives. Although readers in the early part of this century were trained to read heavy books full of fine print, nowadays readers are being trained to read using intellectually and emotionally challenging picture books. Such books (particularly those by John Burningham) enable young readers to tackle material beyond their normal repertoire. The concepts the picture books describe are very sophisticated, yet young children do not seem to have any problem coming to terms with them. Several scholars have investigated the complexities in picture books which even very early readers can begin to master. J. A. Appleyard emphasizes the strong element of play and the important transition small children make from the intimacy of being read to at home to the intensely social experience of school reading. Perry Nodelman describes the range and variety of conventions which picture-book authors and illustrators call into play. Judith Graham investigates what and how children learn from picture books about narrative processes and conventions. The vocabulary of Peter Rabinowitz lends itself to a more activist interpretation of what the reader does. Contemporary children's stories make use of new and different conventions, and in the process may well be creating new and different readers. Picture books give even extremely young children access to literary codes. Armed with this background, however vestigial, children can be readers. (Contains 37 references.) (RS)
Descriptors: Beginning Reading, Childrens Literature, Early Childhood Education, Early Reading, Emergent Literacy, Picture Books, Reading Processes, Social Influences
National Council of Teachers of English, 1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096 (Stock No. 35560).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council of Teachers of English, Urbana, IL.
Identifiers: Historical Background; Literacy as a Social Process