THIS week, BookTrust, as part of their Time to Read campaign argues the importance of visual literacy for children’s development.
The UK’s largest children’s reading charity, alongside developmental psychologist Emma Kenny argues that understanding imagery and identifying visual clues in illustrated books helps young children to make sense of wider topics as they get older.
In a world where advertising becomes ever more pervasive and fake news continues to infiltrate news sources at an alarming rate, children can often struggle to tell the difference between what’s real and fake. Having the ability to understand context and symbolism and decode information is crucial for young people if we want them to become more active learners and help arm them against the barrage of fake news.
BookTrust believes that reading and sharing stories are vital for helping children think for themselves and encourage wider discussions. Illustrated books help children to develop free association, to understand inference and to create their own narratives rather than accepting things at face value.
This September, as part of its annual Time to Read Campaign, BookTrust, Emma Kenny and leading children’s illustrators including Chris Riddell, Sarah McIntyre of the Pictures Mean Business campaign and Waterstones Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child, are asking families to recognise the importance of illustrated books and to take time to explore reading and sharing stories together to help children to understand the world around them, enable them to figure out fact from fiction and allow them to become more independent thinkers.
Developmental psychologist Emma Kenny said:
“I am thrilled to be working with BookTrust on their Time to Read campaign. Children’s brains start to develop at an early age, so it’s important we introduce them to activities that will stimulate them and help them to grow. Picture books are a subtle way to introduce ideas to children that will encourage them to start thinking independently and help them learn to understand subtext and meaning. Now more than ever, we need to arm children with the skills they need to figure out what’s going on around them and I’d urge parents across the country to pick up a picture book and get decrypting with your children.”
BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity is giving away over 700,000 copies of Little Monkey by author and illustrator Marta Altés to every reception aged child in England. Little Monkey is a great book to get kids excited about reading. It’s filled with beautiful illustrations and lots of colourful pictures that give young readers hints to help encourage them to think outside the box to understand the unwritten dangers in the story.
Diana Gerald, CEO of BookTrust says: “Illustrated books are a wonderful resource for children to help them develop key skills, build their confidence and grow their imagination. Visual clues in the story can help them to decipher meaning and encourage them to engage with the narrative on their own terms, beyond just the words. Little Monkey is a heartwarming tale about a brave and curious monkey who is fed up with being told she’s too small to go on adventures. Something that many young ones will no doubt relate to. It’s the perfect picture book for families to have fun with this autumn.”
For more information on BookTrust and the Time to Read Campaign visit booktrust.org.uk