What Children Learn From Picture Books
Picture books, including fire truck books, are extremely important in the literary development of children. These books engage young minds with new words, ideas, and pictures that help to expand vocabulary and encourage creativity. Picture books, with fire trucks or any other characters, are especially important because they help children comprehend words with the assistance of pictures.
According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, picture books provide a wide variety of benefits to young children. Some of the benefits they list include:
-Allowing children to enjoy fun, rhyming words
-Comprehending text and pictures together
-Helping children visualize new images and think about new concepts
-Experiencing the lives and thoughts of others vicariously
-Enjoying a story and sharing that experience with others
-Understanding how the parts of a book go together to make a whole
-Recognizing the unique styles of authors and illustrators
-Thinking about the connection between their life and the story in the book
These are just some of the things that fire truck picture books and picture books in general can provide to young readers!
According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, picture books, like the Mac The Fire Truck books, are defined as “a special category or genre of children’s literature, are publications in which the pictures stand alone, the pictures dominate the text, or the words
and illustrations are equally important.” (Please see http://naeyc.org/store/files/store/TOC/160.pdf for more information about the NAEYC).
Generally speaking, picture books for children have the following five characteristics:
1) The story line is presented in a brief, straightforward manner
2) The story contains a limited number of concepts
3) The book includes concepts that children can understand
4) The story is written in text that is easy for children to understand
5) The book is illustrated with pictures that help children understand the story
As I’ve mentioned before, my wife and I looked for fire truck books with these characteristics and found some. We did not find any, however, with a character that our then-two year old could relate to.
The books in the Adventures of Mac The Fire Truck series are, of course, all fiction. They are crazy stories that were in my mind that entertained my son and made him laugh. There are many great books out there about fire trucks that are non-fiction. My son (and countless other little boys and girls) have been educated and impressed by these non-fiction fire truck books. I cannot tell you how many times we have read books in my house about the different types of fire trucks or what firefighters do. These books have been invaluable to my son, whose insatiable appetite to learn more about fire trucks is almost never quenched! Just the other day, there was a fire truck parked in front of a building we were exiting. A firefighter was standing by it and he allowed my son to look inside and outside the fire truck. My son recognized that it was a pumper truck, which impressed the firefighter.
I guess that’s all to say that picture books, about fire trucks or any other subject, imprint themselves on young minds!