Remember that time? You know the one. Tucked up in bed, or on the couch with a loved one? That sight of the set of eyes, glued to the pages within this paperback cloak of invisibility! Behind these pages, you are safe from harm and, although lost in a different world, you are maintaining courage to continue on this exciting journey. When you close the book an overwhelming smile hits your heart and keeps it warm for the night’s sleep ahead; as tight as a warm hug. Now, when do you get that from an iphone?
In human nature, we yearn to touch, to have that desirable tactile experience. There rarely beats the opportunity to touch. Whether at a museum standing before a ‘do not touch’ sign or at a petting zoo; we crave tactility. It’s clear this experience is so sought after, even the major technology brands have switched marketing ploys; from driving hands free to having the ability to press, flick and swipe. But nothing truly beats that caressing, grabbing and probing. To touch the glossy pages of a picture book is what makes the experience of reading a feat worth pursuing. You slide finger tips to the corners of each page, ready to turn. It’s as if your holding a treasure map, searching for the “X” that marks that magical spot.
When meandering through the mystical forest that is a book, be sure to refer to the component of audio stimulation. A favourite past time for all has to be sitting up, perched upon someone’s lap or curled up in bed listening to a story. Books offer the practise needed to become fluent, articulate and invigorating; just in the way you use your voice. Picture books help you discover expression like never before, regardless of your audience. Decoding and building words, characters or the tempo within a story is unconsciously done with an ambitious dependency on tone and expression. We all can agree, those who dramatise prose, perfect picture story perusal. In other words, those who use their voice to engage make the picture book story so much more fun. What is the biggest difference in a picture book though, compared with its relative, the novel? Perhaps that it is the visual aids that help our ability to relate to, describe and depict a scene and all that is within? Without pictures, our imagination cannot truly begin. We all know the ‘a picture tells 1000 words’ war cry going into battle for picture books.
The most stimulating and perhaps memorable element to reading picture books is its appetising need to be read as a shared experience. Although not entirely impossible, novels and chapter books really only lend itself to the independent reader, and the competent one at that. I see the force feeding of novels to children humiliating the entire reading experience on a daily basis. We read to enjoy, to be inspired and more, so why not do it together? Reading is for everyone, of all ages and should be an experience treasured. Pick up a picture book and lose yourself for the sake of fun. Become that child you have been hiding away for so long.