top of page
  • declanbretz1

The Magic of Illustrations: Why They're Essential in Children's Books

In the enchanting world of children’s literature, illustrations play a pivotal role beyond just adding color to the pages. For most of us, we might see our favorite character or the setting in which the story takes place. Illustrations bring the stories to life as it offers a visual for us to add to our unique imagination of the story we read. According to Reading Partners in 2019, illustrations alongside text offer invaluable tools to help kids build understanding, fluency, vocabulary and other foundational literacy skills. The imagery in a picture book brings the pages to life, serving as a visual roadmap for the story.

A great skill illustrations help children learn is building language skills. As kids begin to speak and formulate sentences, they learn to recognize sounds and patterns. Reading Partners also adds that the rhythmic cadence many picture books have helped kids develop and practice phonological awareness. Phonological awareness is the ability to recognize and manipulate the spoken parts of words. Being able to develop phonological awareness allows children to understand rhythmic patterns and they can start making rhymes of their own. Picture books also help children understand the meaning of words. When children read a sentence, they will look at the illustration to understand what they just read, especially if there are words they don’t know. Illustrations help build vocabulary for children through this process of text alongside images. Illustrations also provide important background knowledge and offer contextual cues based on what’s happening in the story. There could be details of the story that are hard to understand but using pictures help gain understanding.

Lastly, illustrations inspire. Children are able to see characters who look like themselves or have qualities that children strive for. Reinforcing illustrations of characters help children see themselves for who they can be. Illustrations evoke empathy and teach children what feelings feel like. When feelings are evoked it sparks curiosity  to care about what they are reading, leaving them for a taste of more. In the wise words of Dr. Suess, “The more that you read, the more things you’ll know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Written By: Declan Bretz

Source: hown%20alongside%20text%20offer,visual%20roadmap%20for%20the%20story.



bottom of page