Thursday, November 3, 2011

Offering Children the World in Picture Books

Picture books to teach about who we are? Yes!  Ambika Sharma from Bhutan and I talked to teachers at the NH Arts in Education Conference about two books, one set in the American south, the other a folktale from Nepal.  
Georgia Music by Helen Griffith, illus. by James Stevenson

They both tell stories about a child and an elder and led to a discussion about family customs and growing old in different cultures. We looked at picture books that support teaching history, social studies, and math. Tom Newkirk who directs the NH Literacy Institutes at the University of New Hampshire mentioned in a talk that teachers struggle to  have time  to teach social studies.  Through children's literature, students can have both: reading and social studies.  I love what a New York Times reviewer wrote in a review of Georgia Music.  "One way or another, the object for every artist - and certainly the children's book artist - is to make simple and luminous that in our lives which is profound and elusive."

I Doko by Ed Young

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