Picture Books
From “Kazenoko Letter” No.409 - February 2012

 Among all the picture books, there are many masterpieces which are read from generation to generation. The play that three infant classes tried this year for Guardians Day was based on the picture book of “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”, a Norwegian folk tale.

 I was impressed that the children knew this story very well, and so accepted and expressed it without resistance.

 In Norway, a model of the “Troll” in this book can be bought as a souvenir. They are imported to Japan, so when I see them, I recall the Troll! These kinds of picture books are emotionally stirring and unforgettable in the minds of children, and will stay with them even as they get older. Apart from “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”, there are many other great picture books.

 Picture-book reading has been important to us for quite a while at Kazenoko Sodachien. A professional storyteller, Ms. Kazari, regularly comes to our center and reads picture books to our infant classes. The children listen intently and are transported to the world of picture-books with shining eyes. I believe that in those moments, their minds are pure and full of imagination.

 A child who has had many picture books read to them when they were little, continues to read as they grow up and therefore fosters the ability to think. A picture book is not just given to a child when one is little. It is significant because adults read them to them. A good way to read it is with the child on their mother or father’s lap or in bed before bedtime.

 A child asks you to read their favorite picture book repeatedly. It is strange that they never get bored. And that is a big difference from adults. Please satisfy their requirements instead of being annoyed at reading “the same book again.”

 I hope that your child comes to love picture books and grows up spiritually rich.

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