Monday, 10 November 2008

BBC Four programme about picture books

We've just watched this on i-player. If you love picture books, and you didn't see it on tv, it's worth a watch.

It had lots of our favourites from years gone by. It even had that picture from Dogger that makes my eyes fill with tears because it is the spit of our two when they were about four and seven years old.

I've wittered on about picture books before but I never feel like I've really expressed the importance of picture books in our lives - back when they were little. I can walk past a hundred babies in buggies or see the fuzzed head of a newborn breastfeeder and never get a twinge of broodiness. But show me a child of somewhere between one and three, looking at a book with a grown up, and I get swamped with a wave of nostalgia that swamps good sense. I loved *LOVED* reading books with our two when they were tiny. I think the most powerful times were before they could talk much. They would hand me a book and off we would go.

And it was nothing to do with teaching them to read. When we were there I wasn't wondering if they were noticing text, or pointing out rhyme or letter shape. I was just swimming in the story with them. And it brought back memories to me, memories of pictures that I studied so closely - in my own infancy.

Life with really little children is tiring. I often found it bewildering and sometimes overwhelming. For me, the picture books were like life rafts on choppy days. We could all cling on and Alfie or Frog or The Elephant and the Bad Baby, would get us to calmer waters.


HelenHaricot said...

I am with you on picture books. we love them. we haven't muddled reading and acquiring reading skills here, as it looked like it would put SB off, though BB is determined to start to read, she also prefers to be read to

Allie said...

That's interesting, Helen. I should probably make it clear that though our picture book days were not about teaching the children to read I suspect they had everything to do with the children learning to read. If only because of the huge amount of time being around text - not to mention happy associations between books and warmth, comfort and safety.

We didn't really teach the children to read in any organised way.

mamacrow said...

oh i'm with you. I'm obessed with books - particulary children's books and I LOVE picture books.

We will point out words and letters occasionally, mostly on request, but mostly its just the greatest excuse to read and read and read!

when times are busy often the only that keeps me going through the day is looking forward to bathtime and stories!

we go to the library 2/3 times a week for more picture books...

the interesting thing is, the older ones still love them and I'll often catch them reading them out loud to the younger ones... (also a sneaky way of hearing them read out loud, I guess)

Mrs. Darling said...

Just to let you know that I did drop by today! :)

Wishing a lovely day.

Allie said...

Gosh, hello! Feel free to drop by any time.

Anonymous said...

I remember that delicious time when every day Meadow and I read so many picture books, this was before she could 'talk', but really, a child makes herself understood first and then gets the words after I think.

Very happy memories. I didn't have so much time for that with my second coming babe though, being a single mum with two under three was brutal! Time wasn't so leisurely.

I wonder, though, when parents feel they must put their babes in daycare early (before one year), they must miss out on the reading leisurely. I wonder if it is worth it to miss out on, you know, for a bit more money or whatever.

IMO children who have that experience with picture books and parents on a regular basis from when they are born become happier and more creative adults.

eek, excuse my rambling nonsense - I have just woke up!

ef x

kellyi said...

I watched this on iplayer after your recommendation and I loved it. I have been telling others about it too.

I still have little ones, so I am still very much in the midst of picture books and this just made me remember why we have read Mog books so many times that we all know the words off by heart!

Lovely programme - any other viewing recommendations?