B-5 GoodReads Challenge 2013 discussion

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What do you look for in a picture book? In other words, what aspect of the picture book causes you to pull it off the shelf & check it out of the library or purchase it from the book store?

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message 1: by Dr. Laura (new)

Dr. Laura Meyers | 10 comments Mod
When looking for a new picture book, I'm interested in what I would call the "unexpected details" within the illustrations. I enjoy the whimsical, child-like illustrations of Chris Raschka, the hidden characters Trina Schart Hyman always sneaks into the background, & the symbolic collage choices of Bryan Collier. Thoughtful, tedious work that makes me smile & think - that's what I like.


message 2: by Rehema (new)

Rehema Payne | 5 comments When I am looking for a picture book, I look for something that grabs my attention graphically. Most times I am looking for a book that will allow me to explain a certain process or behavior, etc to one of my nieces, nephews or god-children. I loved Dr. Seuss and Anansi the Spider books when I was growing up so I made it a point to read those to my nieces when they were younger.


message 3: by Kai (new)

Kai Palmer | 7 comments I look at the length of the wording on the pages. If there is a paragraph on each page, I assume the story is long and sitting through it will be a challenge for young children.


message 4: by Dr. Laura (new)

Dr. Laura Meyers | 10 comments Mod
Rehema wrote: "When I am looking for a picture book, I look for something that grabs my attention graphically. Most times I am looking for a book that will allow me to explain a certain process or behavior, etc ..."

Rehema - I'm a fan of Anansi the spider too! Have you noticed that, depending on the author, his name is spelled various ways? I love how clever & cunning he is ... I'll have to bring in a few of those picture books to share with you. :)


message 5: by Dr. Laura (new)

Dr. Laura Meyers | 10 comments Mod
Kai wrote: "I look at the length of the wording on the pages. If there is a paragraph on each page, I assume the story is long and sitting through it will be a challenge for young children."

I catch myself doing that too, Kai. Have you ever tried looking for wordless picture books? Those can be a lot of fun to "read" with children. It's fun to work with children to try and figure out the story. I'll have to bring a few of those in and share them with you. The first one that comes to mind is called "Tuesday" ... seen it? :)


message 6: by Kayla (new)

Kayla (kaylawisner) | 15 comments If I want to read a book to my nephew I make sure it has lots of pictures and is very colorful. He loves color. If it has mickey mouse or things he watches on TV then he really likes the book.


message 7: by Antonia (new)

Antonia (toneeags) | 9 comments When I look for a picture book, I look for vivid colors, content, and/or a connection to a theme. For instance, if I knew I was going on a nature walk or spending time outdoors, I would try to find a book that could mimic the environment; that I or we would be in, introduced new ideas or concepts about the environment and offered realistic visual connections.


message 8: by Robyn (new)

Robyn Watt | 6 comments i look for great illustration and creativity, not difficult words but different vocabulary that you wouldnt typically find in a picture book, kind of like Dr. Seuss books with his crazy names for the animals, thats what made his books so interesting and great, vibrant colors and great artistry


message 9: by Katlin (new)

Katlin Sims | 5 comments I look for books that are ascetically pleasing, where the illustrations grab your attention, but are not overwhelming. They can be as simple as those in "The Dot" by Peter H. Rynolds, or as complex as those in "Animalia" by Graeme Base. The pictures should directly correlate with the words on that particular page so that it deepens the experience and helps draw the children into the story. I also think there shouldn't be too many words on each page, because young children can get bored quickly. And perhaps most importantly, it should be a fun and engaging story!


message 10: by Rhaynes5 (new)

Rhaynes5 | 4 comments When looking for a new picture book I look for a book with beautiful pictures. From the front cover to the very last page! I love to see amazing attention grabing pictures. I also look for books with a message for the readers. Overall, good pictures and a great message is really what I go for when choosing a picture book.


message 11: by Carly (new)

Carly Gates | 4 comments When buying books for my 2 year olds, I look for those that I know will grab their attention. I try to find books with fun, eye-catching pictures and not too many words on each page. I also try to choose books that are relevant for the age group I plan on reading it to so that they can connect to the story in some way. I don't think all children's stories have to have a serious message though; I love silly books that are just fun to read too!


message 12: by Carla (new)

Carla Raymer | 6 comments When looking for a new picture book, I tend to get draw to the cover page. If the title and picture on the front draws my attention i am more that likely going to pick it up and give it a go. A book with a great message and that is age appropriate is very important as well.


message 13: by Carla (new)

Carla Raymer | 6 comments Kai wrote: "I look at the length of the wording on the pages. If there is a paragraph on each page, I assume the story is long and sitting through it will be a challenge for young children."

I agree!! If there is too much to read then you are bound to lose that child to the next best thing.


message 14: by Hope (new)

Hope | 6 comments I look for unique books that will captivate young readers! I love books that make you laugh & have an unexpected ending!! Illustrations at their best are usually what draw my attention to them, also neatness & how visually appealing the words are written.


message 15: by Hope (new)

Hope | 6 comments Kai wrote: "I look at the length of the wording on the pages. If there is a paragraph on each page, I assume the story is long and sitting through it will be a challenge for young children."
I also will turn down a book if it's too long. Children's attention spans will not hold & they will not take away from a lengthy book like they should.


message 16: by Ginna (new)

Ginna (princesa76) | 4 comments I look at the illustrations and the size of the print, the vocabulary, plus the length of the book. Since I am working with infants and toddlers, I think those are some of the key thinks my students will appreciate in a book.


message 17: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 6 comments When I go to the bookstore or library, I choose picture books for the pictures first. They have to be bright and exciting enough to capture the children's attention (and mine). Next I look for an intriguing story. If it is long, that's okay, because I can paraphrase.


message 18: by Lakeira (new)

Lakeira King | 8 comments What I look for in a picture book is of course great pictures. Pictures that capture my attention and I start by looking at the cover then flipping through the book. I also look for a clever title, something catchy. I also like stories that are entertaining, funny, inspiring, or teaches you something in a kid friendly way.


message 19: by Robyn (new)

Robyn Watt | 6 comments Hope wrote: "I look for unique books that will captivate young readers! I love books that make you laugh & have an unexpected ending!! Illustrations at their best are usually what draw my attention to them, als..."

yeah nothing is better than a book that can make you laugh and it also can make a not so good day a much better one


message 20: by Alysia (new)

Alysia | 5 comments When I am searching for picture books, I try to get books that have a meaning, satisfying illustrations and the story should appeal to what I believe my students would enjoy. I starting building my library a long time ago, so whenever I visit the local book store, I sit down in the children's section on the floor and read as many books that jump off the shelf at me as possible and that is the determining factor to whether it will make it into my collection or not.


message 21: by Julie (new)

Julie | 5 comments Wehn I look for a picture book I would know if the book will grabs my younger sister's attention and interest. I likely choose books with great illustrations with easy understandable vocabs most of times because she is one of the language learner too. However, I feel so great that she loves to read all kinds(themes) of the books.


message 22: by Kayla (new)

Kayla (kaylawisner) | 15 comments I like a book that has a story you can relate to cute illustrations and one that the kids will want you to read over and over.


message 23: by Kayla (new)

Kayla (kaylawisner) | 15 comments Julie wrote: "Wehn I look for a picture book I would know if the book will grabs my younger sister's attention and interest. I likely choose books with great illustrations with easy understandable vocabs most of..."

That is a great way to teach her new vocabulary is to read aloud to her and maybe ask her questions about the book and if she knows what certain words mean. I like to pick out books that have colorful pictures and books that use the whole 2 page spread because they are more interesting to look at than the ones that just use a small amount of the page to draw on.


message 24: by Kayla (new)

Kayla (kaylawisner) | 15 comments Alysia wrote: "When I am searching for picture books, I try to get books that have a meaning, satisfying illustrations and the story should appeal to what I believe my students would enjoy. I starting building m..."

That's a great idea and you could also pick themes of the day to read that can relate to what you are going to teach that day. You can also find good kids books at good will and yard sales.


message 25: by Brittany (new)

Brittany Long | 4 comments When I'm searching for a good picture book for my daughter, I am typically drawn to books with colorful and creative illustrations, books that aren't lengthy because she tends to lose interest quickly if she has to sit still too long, and content that is meaningful or beneficial to her development. Right now we're focusing mostly on books about counting, colors, the alphabet, and animals.


message 26: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Douthat | 4 comments The first thing I usually look for in a picture book is the picture! Does it go with what is being said could a child use the picture to figure or explain a little of what is going on and is it interesting. During a read aloud I usually follow what is being read by looking at the pictures. And I have noticed a few students will use the pictures to read the story back to me.


message 27: by Dr. Laura (new)

Dr. Laura Meyers | 10 comments Mod
It looks like the "eyes" have it ... most of us are drawn to the illustrations (at least initially) when selecting a picture book. ;) It's smart to keep in mind the other aspects of what makes an ideal book to share, but it does depend on why you're selecting a book, right? We choose books to fit a theme, based on the vocabulary level, interests of students, etc. So, while the illustrations may draw us in initially, it's smart to keep assessing whether or not it's a good fit. :) Happy reading & hunting for new titles!


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