Great books, Reading theory

Picture is worth 1,000 words to a toddler

The Crown On Your Head, by Nancy Tillman
A beautiful illustration from The Crown On Your Head, by Nancy Tillman

To a pre-reader, words aren’t the main attraction.

As a parent, you can read the words to your child sometimes… and then other times, don’t be afraid to ignore the words.

You can go through an entire picture book with your toddler, pointing to the pictures and talking about them.

Identify the colours. Name some of the items in the picture. Ask her, “what do you see?” or “what’s that?” Let her point something out. (Make a big deal out of it when she does.)

Going through a picture book this way can also help to prevent some of the parent burnout that can come with reading the same picture book over and over with your child.

I recently came across a picture book whose pictures I absolutely adore… but I wasn’t that taken with the words.

It’s called The Crown On Your Head, by Nancy Tillman. It’s got a great premise, too – it talks about a “crown” each of us is born with, that we wear all our lives. The “crown” signifies that we are important and special.

The book’s message about self-esteem and equality is lovely, and the illustrations are rich and luscious.

It’s a book parents could look at with a baby or a toddler and they wouldn’t necessarily even have to read the words. You could use the premise, point to the crowns on each page, and talk about how your child is special, too. And how we all have a crown, how each person is wearing one and it means that everyone can shine. So nice.

Thank you to Maile Carpenter for inspiring this blog post.

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