Megan Down Lambert, Yolanda Scott of Charlesbridge, and Emily Prabhakar of The Carle Museum were the panelists. Ms. Lambert is the author of Reading Picture Books With Children, and the book promises to be even more amazing!
The Whole Book Approach is a method to extend story time beyond the words on the page, by emphasizing the book as art and as an object. Its benefits include focusing on visual intelligence, eliciting and validating children’s insights, promoting peer learning, fostering the idea of art as play, and providing opportunities for children and adults to connect.
The concept begins with the actual jacket and case of the book, as well as the front matter. I admit, I’m often guilty of skipping the front matter to get to “the story.” Well, not anymore! After listening to these three ladies discuss how often the story “begins” before the story with the spot art and front matter, I’m going to be emphasizing that from now on as I read with my students.
Ms. Lambert, Ms. Scott, and Ms. Prabhakar continued exploring the concept through typography and even the trim size and back matter of the book.
Even if you’re not a children’s librarian, teacher, or parent, you can benefit from this approach to story time – it’s an excellent explanation of how children relate to picture books, their importance as works of art, and story as play.