Children's Picture Books
Picture books, or more commonly known as children's story books, are quite self-explanatory. They are a modern literary medium that tells a story using words and imagery. Picture books can be an excellent gift choice for children ages 0 to 12, though choosing the right one does require some in-depth knowledge of the genres.
Is the book age appropriate?
Most kids' picture books come with a recommended age prominently displayed on the book cover, so use it as a main guideline. Note that children's reading levels are not entirely age-dependent, so aiming for a book placed above or below their current age works well. As a general rule, you can expect picture books for ages 9 to 12 to contain more text and a more diverse vocabulary. Still, advanced children's books can be used in read-along sessions with children, so stressing over the vocabulary simplicity might not be necessary.
What types of picture books are available?
Picture books are a very diverse niche, and the difference between styles is mainly in the way pictures, text and materials are combined. Styles include:
- board books
- concept books
- easy readers
- wordless books and other similar types
There is no perfect type; they are all art-forms that should be judged individually, not as part of a group.
Should toddlers play with picture books?
Some picture books are specifically toddler books. Board books are an excellent example that are designed to endure rough-handling by toddlers. They are made from thick cardboard, which withstands tearing, chewing, stomping and whatever else a toddler decides to do with the book. Introducing books early on in a child's life leads to the development of good reading habits when they grow up. Some of the toddler books even fall in the wordless category and are aimed to help them make up stories, which is an important pre-literacy activity.
Is the child going to like it?
Liking a kid's book is very subjective, but carefully picking the topic and style helps ensure success. Educational non-fiction concept books might sound like an excellent choice, but they are not if the child shows disinterest. Once you know which topic interests a child, picking a fiction or nonfiction picture book set may be an excellent move. Sets often follow stories with same characters, helping children easily transition from one book to another.