“The difference between children and adults is that they’re shorter – not dumber.”― Mo Willems
This blog is a continuation on the eight factors for evaluating informational picture books. These factors are:
- Both the text and the illustrations should explain the information clearly. They should be interesting, stimulating and entertaining.
- It should be clear from the beginning what topic the book covers.
- The author should inform the reader exactly what the book facts include. Stereotypes must not be presented.
- The book’s facts or concepts should be accurate.
- The author should give a clear overview of the subject material.
- The informational book’s content should appeal to a wide age range.
- Books about special interest to a small percentage of the student population, along with those of interest to a large percentage of students should also be included.
- The format (layout) of the book should be both attractive and readable.
Today I want to talk about factor five and factor six above …
Factor Five – The author always should give a clear overview of the subject material …
A great informational picture book is one that motivates the reader to search for “more” facts on the particular subject. It is a “starting point,” the foundation of the subject. A nice example of this is seen with the title, Satchmo’s Blues by author Alan Schroeder and illustrated by Floyd Cooper (Doubleday, 1996).
It’s about the extraordinary jazz trumpet player, Louis Armstrong. Schroeder weaves a wonderful story on how Louis, who wanted to be like Bunk Johnson, started his career in New Orleans with a $5 cornet.
Factor Six – The informational book’s content should appeal to a wide age range …
It is important for the subject material in an informational picture book appeal to a varied age range. It is also important to note that a child’s reading ability will have no bearing on whether or not the book’s subject will be appealing to them. Another consideration is that children are capable of understanding expository and narrative, along with poetic writing at a higher level when the information is read to them. Author Patricia J. Cianciolo explains that most often children, “… enjoy reading something that stretches and challenges them, that not only enables them to build upon what they already know, but enriches and extends that knowledge.”
In my next blog, Extraordinary Informational Picture Book Power (Part 5), I’ll talk about how the concept book’s layout should be both attractive and readable.
Extraordinary Informational Picture Book Power (Part 3) (November 3, 2014)http://www.kobeemanatee.com/extraordinary-informational-picture-book-power-part-3/
Extraordinary Informational Picture Book Power (Part 2) (October 30, 2014)http://www.kobeemanatee.com/extraordinary-informational-picture-book-power-part-2/
Extraordinary Informational Picture Book Power (Part 1) (October 16, 2014)http://www.kobeemanatee.com/extraordinary-informational-picture-book-power-part-1/
How Children Benefit from Informational Picture Books (July 25, 2014)http://www.kobeemanatee.com/how-children-benefit-from-informational-picture-books/
Harness the Power of Picture Books (July 22, 2014) http://www.kobeemanatee.com/harness-the-power-of-picture-books/
~ Robert Scott Thayer