PB Adventurers Guest Post: Effect of a Good Picture Book on Kids

This is a list of the FUN things that my Kindergarten class LOVES!

Kindergarteners love picture books. I teach Kindergarten at an independent school in Northeast Ohio, called, Heritage Classical Academy. To the classical mind, all knowledge is interrelated. At this age, children love to learn plain facts, even though they don’t yet know the implications of them or all about them. They are at a physiological stage of life when they love repeating jingles and memorizing things, “rejoicing in the chanting of rhymes and the rumble and thunder of unintelligible polysyllables”, states Dorothy Sayers, mother of modern classical Christian education. Classical education is language-focused, requiring the brain to work harder than simply pacifying children with images on a screen.

We know that research on reading picture books has been found to improve children’s vocabulary and language development, noting that the quality of the book reading is just as important as how often books are read to children. We as parents and educators should involve little listeners by asking questions as we read, rather than allowing children to be pampered into passivity. The repetition of rhyming picture books, with their often recurring words or sentences, can have substantial impact on speech development as well. As children hear and anticipate those recurring words or sentences, they begin to participate in the reading or retelling of the story (even if the text has been memorized) which empowers great confidence.

At the Kindergarten level, we begin the school year reviewing and repeating the alphabet, learning letter sounds. Future phonics lessons are a joy to students in the classroom as they learn rhyming families of words. The “at” family is introduced with their cat that sat on a mat, looking at a fat rat holding a bat. My students also recognize rhymes as they learn short vowel sounds within words that rhyme with the pictures in their phonics book. They especially enjoy the lessons with 4 story lines, reading for understanding, to discover which line matches the illustration on the page. The lines that do not match the picture are a source of delightful giggling.

The Dutch believe that children should start learning mathematics by using something that is familiar and makes sense to them. This approach to mathematics views maths as a part of everyday life which can be a major part of a picture book story, not just the nonfiction books aimed at teaching maths. Psychology Today reported that “simple storybooks have the power to teach children new words, actions, and even more complex scientific concepts like camouflage… Note that these books were all designed to read like storybooks – not like educational books that children get in school – yet children still learned from them.” 

Picture books are often funny, which adds to their charm, and help children to develop a sense of humor. In the classroom, I read several books each week, from classic, Caldecott winning picture books to well-researched, educational resources. My 14 students collectively seem to want a nap when the educational books are presented, no matter how enthusiastically I read and engage them with Socratic-style questions. They sit with empty, expressionless eyes when presented with a contemporary picture book promoting a particular platform or political agenda that is a passion of an adult author. Kindergarteners are FUN-loving and fueled by facts. 

Picture Book Adventurers, let me challenge you to partner with your local Kindergarten classes – volunteering in the classroom to observe, reading after school with little learners, or listening to teachers’ funny stories about their students. 

Picture books form the foundations of future learning and fan the flames of articulate, winsome, and wise world leaders. That is why Plato effectively stated, “Give me a child up to age 7 and I’ll form them into whatever you like.”


my soul

mood board for Character Design class | Storyteller Academy . Sylvie Greendale is me at 7yrs old

Over the past several years, I have continually added pins like these + 1000s more on my Pinterest board, XOXO.

they represent a few of my favourite things

the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen

this is what fills my soul

this is ME

International Women’s Day 2021

Happy International Women’s Day 2021
Celebrating the AMAZING, Beatrix Potter!
Not only was B a gifted watercolourist & author of beloved classic children’s books, did you know she was an accomplished naturalist during the Victorian Era? Curious about how FUNGI reproduced, she created microscopic drawings & submitted her research 🔬 which was rebuffed by the Director of The Kew because of her sex and amateur status & withdrawn from The Linnean Society in 1897…
💯 years later, in 1997 The Linnean Society rediscovered her work and issued a posthumous apology to Potter for the sexism displayed in its handling of her research. 🙌🏻

🍄 FUNGI just may be the topic of Sylvie Greendale BOOK 3….

A Grilled Cheese Sandwich

#50PreciousWords My 1st Writing Contest Entry!!

A Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Maryann Wohlwend

Do you want buttered noodles or a grilled cheese sandwich?


…then I told Jesse I should be Captain because I know all the ranks and Mrs Smith called on me a grilled cheese sandwich but I didn’t know the answer and then…

3,881 lunches are left until Boot Camp.



Sylvie’s Surreal Sleepscape

Sylvie Greendale . end pages

1st illustration for Storyteller Academy class, “Creating Atmosphere”, with Illustrator, Isabella Kung.

This is a surreal sleepscape for all the Sylvie Greendale book end pages. The night scene (inspired by Marc Chagall’s blue paintings) would be the same for each book, but the DREAM DOODLES would change, depicting jumbled info Sylvie learned that day which her subconscious is processing while asleep.

Storyteller Academy . The Assignment

The Assignment, Step 1 Create a List of Themes

The Assignment _✍🏻
Jim Averbeck’s class unlocked my creativity!
I am already running with this idea on the theme,
“a grilled cheese sandwich”
🥪 On Monday, January 11th, 2021, a mother offers her 7yr old/2nd grade son 2 choices for lunch: a peanut butter & jelly or a grilled cheese sandwich .
NOTE : this child has unbounded energy + an unlimited capacity for distraction. The story will follow his train of thoughts & one sided conversation on anything and everything but answering his mother’s question. (This child may or may not be loosely based on my own son. 😂)
On the last page, he will select his choice of sandwich and his mother, who has been frozen in time, all that time, will have calculated that he has done this 126 days since the school year had started, and they will likely repeat this scenario 3,881 more days until he enlists in The US NAVY and leaves home for Boot Camp!