The market size, measured by revenue, of the Children's Book Publishing industry is $2.0 billion in 2021.Natasha Gilmore reported in a 2015 Publisher’s Weekly article that from January 2014 to September 2015, children’s books sales were up 12.6% in the United States. Contributing to these numbers, Gilmore continues, is the increase in coloring books for adults, as coloring books are coded as children’s books in the U.S. The Wonder research site lists figures of $2.95 billion for the 2018 US children’s book publishing revenue. 73.1% of the book sales were for backlist books (books that have been on sale for more than a year), of which 50% of thetitles sold were picture books.
Picture books for the very young undoubtedly plant seeds and help shape worldviews. Yet it isn’t just young children who are affected. Those reading these books to the children are also influenced.
Joey, The Story of Joe Biden, by his wife, Jill, is a good example. This book was published June 30, 2020, prior to the election. The four- to eight-year-old target audience would not be voting in the upcoming November election, but perhaps the adults reading this book about Joe Biden’s childhood to children would respond to the “give me the ball” message. In an interview on
In an interview onThe View, June 30, 2020 (the day her Joey book was released), Dr. Biden had this to say:
… I think Joe will be known for being an empathetic leader because of all he's been through and because of the tragedies in his life-- because he did stutter, because his father did lose his job, because he did work at the only all-black pool in the city and saw what people of color went through, and so I think that empathy is gonna be Joe's greatest strength.
Joe’s dad lost his job. Joey Biden stuttered and once worked at an all-black pool. He also never refused a dare. What more would be needed to qualify him for the highest office in the land?
On the outside chance that the message went over either the listener’s (or the reader’s) head, there are comprehension questions at the end of thisbook for kids from 4 to 8:
4: Truth was important to the Bidens, how do we know that?
5: Do you think lifeguarding taught Joe about inequality?
Theresa Thorn, the author of It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity, is the mother of a transgender child. In the Author’s Note of her book, Thorn explains: “My daughter was five when she told me she wasn’t the gender I’d assumed she was at birth.” The illustrator of the book, Noah Grigni, identifies as a non-binary transgender.
She’s a transgender girl.
That means when she was born, everyone thought she was a boy. Until she grew a little older—old enough to tell everyone that she’s actually a girl.
“More Helpful Resources” are listed in the back of this book, including books for parents about raising gender non-conforming children. Website addresses for Gender Spectrum, PFLAG, GLAAD, the Trans Youth Equality Foundation, and others are also included. These resources are intended for the adults.
This 2019 book was published by Henry Holt and Company (BYR: Books for Young Readers).This 40-page book for children 4 to 8 is a “Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year” selection.
AnAmazon five-star reviewer concluded her comments with, “. . . I'd imagine it would be just as helpful for some adults as it is for children.”
Race Cars: A children's book about white privilege, by Jenny Devenny, was first published in paperback form in November of 2016. The May 4, 2021 hardback edition will also include a discussion guide. This book, for children from 5 to 8, was originally a 60-page book self-published by the author. The new 2021 edition is only 40 pages, and is published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books, who are known to celebrate cultural diversity.
For as long as anyone could remember, every year when the big race came around, a white car would win the race. A white car would win fourth place, third place, second place, and first place. Until last year…
… “We have always given white cars the fastest tires and the most powerful engines!” they roared. “How could a black car have won?”
As the cars continue racing through the magical forest, the black cars are always stopped, but not the white ones. Various obstacles make it near impossible for a black car to win.
Jenny Devenny is a psychotherapist “dedicated to providing anti-racist psychotherapy to children, adolescents and families and has experience facilitating groups and workshops on racism and whiteprivilege. Jenny is passionate about helping adults, specifically white adults, have meaningful conversations about race with the children in their lives and believes that if we want to dismantle white supremacy we need to start with our youngest.”
“The editor, Charnaie Gordon, is a Diversity and Inclusion Expert . . . [and] . . . a member of the National Advisory Board for Reading is Fundamental for their Race, Equity, and Inclusion (REI) initiative.”
ThisAmazon reviewercloseswith, “Great for kids and adults alike.”
Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness, by Anastasia Higginbotham, was named “ONE OF SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL'S BEST BOOKS OF 2018.” This 64-page book for children ages 8 to 12, was published by Dottir Press, who “takes a feminist approach to publishing and artistic production . . .”
According to the Amazon Author’s Bio, “Not My Idea is the only children's picture book that roots the problem of racism in whiteness and empowers white children and families to see and dismantle white supremacy. Higginbotham is also a speechwriter for social justice organizations.”
Left: WHITENESS IS A BAD DEAL.It always was.
[In balloon]: Dude, we can see your pointy tail.
Binding You to WHITENESS
special favors +
*to mess endlessly with the lives of your friends, neighbors, loved ones, and all fellow humans of
COLOR [for the purpose of profit $]
+land, riches, and favors may be revoked at any time, for any reason
The next page follows with, “You can be white without signing on to whiteness.”
This Amazon reviewer begins with this:
“Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness” arrived yesterday, a belated bday gift from me to my kid, and to her parents, and to her big brother when he’s home from college for Thanksgiving, and to anyone we can get to buy it/borrow it/read it/share it. . . .”
Anastasia Higginbotham is also the author of the 2017 book, Tell Me about Sex, Grandma, a 64-page book for children 4-8, published by The Feminist Press at CUNY (City University of New York).
He’s My Mom!: A Story for Children Who Have a Transgender Parent or Relative, by Sarah Savage, will be released August 19, 2021.
My Mom's name is David. He used to be a she but now he is a he! Last year he did this thing called transition. He took some medicine which made his voice deeper and he started wearing different clothes.
Savage’s previous book from August of 2020, is called She's My Dad!
My Dad's name is Haley. She used to be a he but now she is a she! Last year she did this thing called transition. She grew her hair long, painted her nails in bright colours and started wearing different clothes.
Both of these 40-page books for children from 3 to 7 center in on the hurtfulness of misgendering someone and the need for treating trans people with respect. He’s My Mom! And She’s My Dad address “pronouns, dysphoria, family diversity and misgendering.”
Sarah's book gives our young people, teachers and families much needed vocabulary and knowledge to have open and safe conversations about gender identity in 2020 - the perfect resource for schools and libraries! -- Dr Elly Barnes MBE, CEO & Founder Educate & Celebrate(Video) What is the most important influence on child development | Tom Weisner | TEDxUCLA
Sarah Savage is a trans-rights campaigner and co-founder of Trans Pride Brighton. She is the co-author of Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl?(Amazon bio)
My Maddy is a 32-page book for children 4 to 8, written by Gayle E. Pitman, and published in 2020 by Magination Press, part of the American Psychological Association.
Most mommies are girls. Most daddies are boys. But lots of parents are neither a boy nor a girl. Like my Maddy.
“ . . . Perfect for trans, enby [NB: non-binary] or intersex parents, or any allies who want a lovely story to add to their library.” Amazon reviewer
Gayle E. Pitman, PhD, also wrote several other books for young children including This Day in June, When You Look Out the Window, Sewing the Rainbow, and A Church for All. Pitman is a professor of psychology and women’s studies at Sacramento City College. Her teaching and writing focuses on gender and sexual orientation.
They, She, He easy as ABC is a 2019 book written by Maya Christina Gonzalez and Matthew Sg. Gonzalez also wrote The Gender Wheel book in 2017.
They, She, He easy as ABC is a 36-page bookfor children from 3 to 7. Each letter of the alphabet is represented by a different child. These children use a variety of pronouns. The School Library Journal describes this book as “a gorgeous and much-needed picture book about pronouns and gender fluidity.”
A five-star reviewer writes that “the younger kids in my family have been explaining this book to their grandparents.”
Hear My Voice is a new book, just released in April of 2021. This 96-page book for children 8 and up was compiled by Warren Binford for Project Amplify.
Every day, children in migration are detained at the US-Mexico border. They are scared, alone, and their lives are in limbo. Hear My Voice/Escucha mi voz shares the stories of 61 [of] these children, from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Mexico, ranging in age from five to seventeen—in their own words from actual sworn testimonies. Befitting the spirit of the project, the book is in English on one side; then flip it over, and there's a complete Spanish version. (Amazon)
While billed as a children’s book, I would instead recommend it to adults; it’s a bit too intense for children. There is certainly enough here to engross the adult reader.(Amazon reviewer)
A House for Everyone: A Story to Help Children Learn about Gender Identity and Gender, by Jo Hirst, was published in May of 2018. This 32-page book, for children from 4 to 8, describes a group of friends who play together. One boy prefers to wear dresses, another boy sometimes wears his hair in a pony tail, another girl likes her hair cut really short, another child doesn’t feel like a boy or a girl and prefers that people use the pronoun, “they.”
The end of the book closes with pages with “Notes for Grownups.” “This simple story is a useful tool for helping to break down some of the gender stereotypes that are prevalent in our society . . .”
Jo Hirst also wrote The Gender Fairy in 2015. This book is “a tale of two children who are taking their first joyful steps toward living as their true selves. . .”
I thought that this review fromLindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? was quite interesting:
“Gender identity is this thing we hear about, but a lot of people aren't very educated on the vocabulary or concept. I'll admit that I could be more knowledgeable myself, and I feel like A House for Everyone did a wonderful job of explaining everything in a way that was easy to understand.”
Although she doesn’t mention the age of her son, she wrote that he “was often confused and barely engaged in the overall story. He wanted to know more about what they were doing on the playground, what kind of blocks they were building with, etc . . .”
Her son wasn’t engaged in the story but was interested in the pictures of the blocks and the playground. After all, he is a child.
This reviewer, like the others listed, acknowledges that these books are helping adults understand these issues. [The passagesin bold letters, throughout this article,refer to adult readers of these picture books for children.]
Perhaps you remember some of the books listed below:
A Child’s Garden of Verses
Robert Louis Stevenson
Winnie the Pooh
Pat the Bunny
Baby to age 3
Make Way for Ducklings
Margret and H.A. Rey
The Poky Little Puppy
Janette Sebring Lowrey
Baby to age 3
Margaret Wise Brown
Baby to age 7
Blueberries for Sal
Home for a Bunny
Margaret Wise Brown
I encourage you to take an afternoon and read some of these older children’s books and some of the newer selections mentioned in this article. The table below* lists the books addressed in this article that are read on YouTube. I have provided the direct links to these readings.
John Donovan became the head of the Children’s Book Council in 1967. In 1969, his I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip book for young adults was published. It featured the first homosexual protagonist in books for kids. John Donovan was a homosexual and his book editor, Ursula Nordstrom, was a lesbian.
I will quote a footnote from Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom, collected and edited by Leonard S. Marcus, regarding Donovan’s book:
Frances Clarke Sayers, former superintendent of work with children at the New York Public Library, had written JD [John Donovan] privately to state her objections to the “new realism,” of which she considered his first novel a prime example. Sayers believed that such books robbed children of the period of innocence to which they were entitled. JD wrote back that innocence was a luxury that most people in contemporary society could ill afford. (page 281)
Has a child’s innocence been exchanged for a mess of pottage?
Between the Covers: What's Inside a Children's Book?
*Click thebook title to go directly to the YouTube reading.
Dr. Jill Biden
Gayle E. Pitman
Maya Christina Gonzalez
Compiled by Warren Binford for Project Amplify
Detained Migrant Children at the US/Mexico border
Picture books bring tremendous benefits to kids who are in the early stages of developing their reading skills. Illustrations shown alongside text offer invaluable tools to help kids build understanding, fluency, vocabulary and other foundational literacy skills.How do picture books influence young readers? ›
Picture books bring tremendous benefits to kids who are in the early stages of developing their reading skills. Illustrations shown alongside text offer invaluable tools to help kids build understanding, fluency, vocabulary and other foundational literacy skills.How do children's books influence children? ›
Children might be drawn to books based on their interests or eye-catching illustrations, but those books can also help kids better understand the world around them. Books can evoke emotions and feelings, help them develop a sense of identity, or contextualize their experiences.What is the power of books for young children? ›
Reading daily to young children, starting in infancy, can help with language acquisition, communication skills, social skills, and literacy skills.Why are picture books important for adults? ›
Picture books trigger imagination
Picture books trigger imagination not just in kids but also in adults, since a lot is left on interpretation, only the level of imagination may vary (the smaller the size, the limitless the imagination, we believe).
Picture books for young readers are building blocks that promote literacy, vocabulary skills, sentence structure and story analysis. For young readers, picture books are an important part of learning how to read.What is the importance of picture books in early childhood research? ›
Picture books are an important source of new language, concepts, and lessons for young children. A large body of research has documented the nature of parent-child interactions during shared book reading.What is the value of picture books? ›
Literacy and Language Skills. One of the most essential things a child can get from reading picture books is developed literacy and language skills. The short captions often used in picture books allow children to read at their own pace without becoming overwhelmed or discouraged by a large amount of text on the page.How does book reading impact students? ›
An emphasis on reading and student literacy helps develop higher levels of focus and concentration. It also forces the reader to sort things out in their own mind – including topics that might not be familiar to them at all (Paris at the end of World War II, for example, or another planet in a science fiction novel).How do books influence us? ›
The reader's capacity for imagination is enhanced. When reading, people try to imagine how the characters look at the world. As a result, people develop a better understanding of others and adhere less to prejudices. When people are carried away by the story, it helps develop their empathy.
Books inform our imaginations, inspiring creativity. Books let kids try on the world before they have to go out into it. Books give kids an opportunity to experience something in their imaginations before it happens to them in real life.What is the power of children's literature? ›
Children's literature gives children awareness and appreciation of their own culture as well as others; it develops their emotional intelligence; and encourages children to self reflect on their own emotions, families, and societies.What is the value of children's books? ›
Children's literature can not only be used to teach students how to read and write but can also help to increase their language, emotional, and cognitive skills.What is the role of picture books? ›
Picture books allow children to play with language, often in a lyrical and rhythmic sense, which increases the number of words at their disposal. Talking about the illustrations on the page is also a wonderful way of improving vocabulary - potentially discussing important topics as well as the meaning of the story.What are the benefits of photo books? ›
Photo books are an excellent way to capture moments we take the time to photograph. They're also the perfect way to chronicle all the details of those special moments while they're fresh in our memory. Names, dates, locations, colors, fragrances, flavors, and sounds all make the story complete.What makes a picture book special? ›
What makes a good picture book. Picture books use illustrations, with or without text, to convey stories, which delight and engage children. In picture books with text, the author and the illustrator jointly share the responsibility of making the picture book 'work'.What are three reasons why wordless picture books are important to young children? ›
- They help visual thinkers play to their strengths. Reading is hard for beginners, so taking some of the pressure off with wordless picture books can build confidence. ...
- They incorporate context clues. ...
- They welcome retelling.
Books provide a great opportunity for back-and-forth interactions with older children. This supports word learning and preliteracy skills. The quantity of words that children hear is important for language development, but so is the quality of language that they hear.Why is it important to learn about visual literacy? ›
Why is visual literacy important? Students who are skilled in visual literacy are stronger readers. They're able to think from different perspectives and create meaning from images. As visual literacy skills are built, students learn to think with their imagination and strengthen their critical thinking skills.How does exposing children to art through picture books help? ›
Exposing children to art through picture books helps... Develop their appreciation for and understanding of art, artists, and texts. Foster understanding of specific cultures and the artist whose works represent them.
Picture books aren't just for little kids. They are powerful and engaging texts that can help all middle school students succeed in language arts, math, science, social studies, and the arts. Picture books appeal to students of all readiness levels, interests, and learning styles.Why do we love picture books? ›
Picture books don't only help kids get excited about reading—they also help them learn values and lessons. The underlying messages in a picture book often help our little ones learn how to distinguish between right and wrong, as well as how to make good decisions.What age do picture books target? ›
Picture books are targeted at children ages 2 to 8. They primarily use illustrations to tell the story and often share life lessons related to emotional intelligence (empathy, forgiveness, kindness), relationships, social connections, and morals.What is the educational value of children's games? ›
Research has shown that games are essential for healthy development in early childhood and beyond. Play lets children practise what they know, and also what they don't. It allows them to experiment through trial and error, find solutions to problems, work out the best strategies, and build new confidence and skills.What are the 5 benefits of reading? ›
- Increase your vocabulary and comprehension skills. ...
- Reduce stress. ...
- Help you prepare to sleep. ...
- Prevents cognitive decline. ...
- Might even help you live longer.
Books help to inspire students to do hard work with courage and hope. They enrich the experience of students and sharpen their intellect. There are many benefits of Reading books; students will get more knowledge, improve memory and build more vocabulary.How does reading books change your life? ›
It helps us relate to other people and encourages us to be kind and considerate of other people's feelings. As it turns out, reading can actually help improve empathy. When people read stories about other people's lives, it helps them develop the skills to understand the world through another person's perspective.Why are books so impactful? ›
Books are packed with knowledge, they give you life lessons, and they teach you about hardships, love, fear, and every little thing that is a part of life. Books have been here for centuries and contain the knowledge of our past, civilizations, and cultures.How do books inspire people? ›
Imagination and creativity: Reading books can stimulate the imagination and encourage creative thinking. Personal growth and self-discovery: Books can inspire personal growth and self-discovery, helping individuals understand themselves and the world around them.How do books influence identity? ›
Books not only develop a child's sense of identity but also their ability to understand others. When children read stories about people from various cultures, they learn to welcome differences and connect with people in their communities.
Social impact of books and reading
Book reading in general helps encourage people to actively participate in social events and activities, improving the world around them. People who read often are three times more likely to be involved with charity and volunteer work than non-readers.
Books are our true friends who provide us with a treasure house of knowledge and information. Much like our friends, they give us inspiration and encourage us to do great things. We get pleasure from reading the stories of far-away lands and from learning about the mysteries of the Universe.How can books influence and enrich our life? ›
Reading is good for you because it improves your focus, memory, empathy, and communication skills. It can reduce stress, improve your mental health, and help you live longer. Reading also allows you to learn new things to help you succeed in your work and relationships.What can children's literature teach us? ›
Children's literature teaches us to find complexity in the things that seem simple. In a child's view, everything is new and exciting—everything has the potential for magic. Consequently, children's authors cater to, and even adopt, this perspective.What is the power of reading early childhood? ›
Reading and storytelling with babies and children promotes brain development and imagination, develops language and emotions, and strengthens relationships. Sometimes you can read. And sometimes you can look at picture books, sing songs or tell stories from your culture.What are the benefits of children's literature in moral? ›
Through literature, children can observe other people's lives, experiences, and various versions of moral conflicts and learn to take others' perspectives. They can also recognize moral and ethical dilemmas by observing the behavior of story characters.What is the benefit of books for toddlers? ›
Reading and storytelling helps toddlers learn about sounds, words and language. Reading stories stimulates imagination, develops social skills and helps toddlers learn about the world. Try to read daily. Ask toddlers to fill in the words in stories they know, and name what they see in the pictures.Why books are the best gift for kids? ›
They stimulate their imaginations and expand their understanding of the world. Reading literature helps kids build up their emotional intelligence since stories have the power to show them what moral and emotional development looks like.Why picture books are better than novels? ›
Well-illustrated books not only make a story more entertaining, the pictures add meaning and increase comprehension of the text narrative. For example, in a text only story, any descriptions of the characters or the action need to be very limited to match a child's reading vocabulary.What is the difference between picture books and picturebooks? ›
'Picture book', 'picture-book' and 'picturebook' are all ways of writing this word, but using the compound form – picturebook – reflects the very nature of this very special artefact, one that brings pictures and words together to create meaning.
Using high-quality picture books as models for writing is not a new concept. But using them to help students apply the traits of writing-ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions, and presentation-is.
Reading Picture Books mean: To develop interest among the learners. They look at the pictures almost as they would watch a movie. To help learners to understand and analyze a scene and without knowing how to read, they can tell how the story plays out.What makes a picture book effective? ›
What makes a good picture book. Picture books use illustrations, with or without text, to convey stories, which delight and engage children. In picture books with text, the author and the illustrator jointly share the responsibility of making the picture book 'work'.Why is it important to read aloud and use picture books with older readers? ›
Picture books for older readers can help your students think beyond their own perspectives and gain unique insights from different points of view. A good picture book can help students explore complex topics and the world around them.How can images and pictures enhance reading? ›
Pictures break down language barriers.
As their skills develop, photos can be the perfect way to help build comprehension. Instead of getting lost in the phonics or translation aspects of reading in a second language, students can focus on building their comprehension skills. What is this?
Reading picture books depicting cartoon char- acters enacting emotional understanding and highlighting external emotional causes that can influence their behaviour can be used to help children's ability to comprehend emo- tions, and even further their emotion comprehension development.What is the target audience for a picture book? ›
In general, picture books should appeal to ages 3-8, but the age of your target audience is really determined by how complex the story is and how much text is involved.What are the benefits of using predictable picture books? ›
Predictable books are purpose-written to teach children not to rely on phonics because the idea underpinning their construction is that readers should predict words using meaning and sentence structure, and attend to “graphic cues” (letters) as little as possible.What are 3 benefits of reading aloud with children? ›
From recognizing patterns and memorizing details in rhyming books to inspiring them to enjoy reading with their own summer reading lists as they grow up, reading aloud fosters a passion for reading, a chance to connect and reflect with little ones after a big day, and gives kids a head start on the reading and writing ...At what age should children stop reading picture books? ›
Most picture books are recommended for kids ages 4 to 8.
Reading aloud daily to students is one of the best ways to increase reading resilience and motivation, and it also helps build community. Additionally, it allows educators to connect academically, emotionally, and socially with students.How do images influence us? ›
Images can strongly influence the way we act.
Because we process visual stimulation at lightning speed, images are likely to prompt strong emotion, which in turn can lead to action.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that learners store information in their long-term memory is to pair concepts with meaningful images. Visuals help students make sense out of the content and direct attention, increasing the possibilities that the learners will remember the material. According to Dr.Why picture is more effective than words? ›
(Scientists believe that the brain is able to process images approximately 60,000 times more quickly than it processes a similar amount of written information!) Some experts suggest that images are more likely to be remembered than words, because our brains dually encode images, but encode words only once.How can a book help a child's social-emotional development? ›
But did you know that reading can also help with your child's behavioral and social-emotional development? Yes, reading really is that powerful. Through books and stories, children can learn skills and watch other characters go through emotions similar to those they experience themselves.How does reading affect children emotionally? ›
The Power of Reading: How Books Help Develop Children's Empathy and Boost Their Emotional Development. 'There is strong evidence that reading for pleasure can increase empathy, improve relationships with others, reduce the symptoms of depression and the risk of dementia, and improve wellbeing throughout life. 'How does reading a story help children in their emotional and intellectual aspect? ›
help develop your child's brain, ability to focus, concentration, social skills and communication skills. help your child learn the difference between 'real' and 'make-believe' help your child understand new or frightening events, and the strong emotions that come with them.