One major milestone in your child’s growth as a reader is when they are finally ready for chapter books. Kids are excited to be reading “big kid” books, and it’s exciting for parents to see their kids start to enjoy longer, more complex books. As important as this milestone is, sometimes kids get the idea that they’re too old to keep reading picture books. But there are lots of good reasons to keep reading picture books, and lots of great picture books written with older readers in mind.
- Many picture books contain a sub-text in the pictures. In other words, if you only read the text, you might miss something important! This helps teach kids that the answers to their questions aren’t always obvious- they may have to do some searching.
- Many picture books contain challenging vocabulary around a 4th-5th grade level or higher. It’s a great opportunity to learn new words, and often the pictures provide context to aid in remembering those words later on.
- Reading the diagrams, graphs, and other features commonly found in non-fiction picture books is a challenging, technical reading skill that will help kids succeed as learners from elementary school through college.
- Picture books give kids the opportunity to explore and learn about different styles of art and different media used.
- Fun search and find books like I Spy or Where’s Waldo help kids learn important study skills like attention to detail and how to skim and scan a page. They can also improving visual tracking, which is essential to reading success.
- Picture books can “hook” kids into reading who are reluctant to take on a longer book. Reading should be fun- not a chore!
- When kids feel successful as readers, they want to read more. When kids read more, they get better at reading. Picture books are one important tool in building this success.
Browse the bookshelf below to find some of our librarians’ favorite picture books for older readers.
What did we miss? Leave the title of your favorite picture book for older readers in the comments!
P.S. Don’t forget to count the time your kids spend reading those picture books for summer reading prizes!