I loved participating in Picture Book Month‘s first year. Many different picture book creators and champions shared why picture books are important. Their posts made me laugh and reflect. They inspired me to have one group of my third grade students create a video on why they thought picture books were important. I loved hearing their answers. Many emphasized the role of the picture book in learning to read. Others said they help people learn to draw. Another mentioned laughing from the characters. One talked about books being a way to watch a movie in their mind. They talked about picture books taking them to places they’d never been.
Picture Book Month was also the first time my library students had the opportunity to connect with other students through Skype. Second grade, fourth grade and Montessori students read some of the stories in Mary Ann Hoberman’s You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You with students in Minnesota and Massachusetts. Third grade students listened to fourth graders from Michigan read Elephant and Piggie to them.
3rd Grade students researched some Wisconsin Picture Book creators. We used http://willyou.typewith.me/ to share information we learned about our authors and illustrators (I learned some better ways to introduce collaborative typing!). We voice recorded book blurbs so we could share with other classes. An enrichment group created reading posters using Big Huge Lab’s Motivator. These posters are now rotating on a digital picture frame at our checkout desk. Each day a new picture was added to our giant Picture Book Month calendar in the library.
I loved getting stopped in the hallway to be asked what the picture book theme was that day and first grade students wanting to know if I’d written their book letter yet. Most of all, I loved celebrating picture books with all the grades and learning of excellent picture books through twitter. It’s great seeing how everyone else celebrated as well.
Picture Book Month encouraged me to grow as a reader and explore some topics I don’t normally read about. My to read list has so many wonderful 2011 books on it. I look forward to celebrating this month again next year.