As you share picture books with your preschool through kindergarten child, you can discover many ways to use them beyond the story itself. After exploring the words and the tale they tell, discover all of the concepts used in the illustrations. Every picture book is a counting book, a colors book, a shapes book and a book of sounds. The wonderful collage-illustrated books by Lois Ehlert offer many opportunities for exploration and conversation with your child.
Planting a Rainbow leads you to talk of spring and gardens and working together. Certainly colors is a main theme, but stop to count the packages of seeds or the number of bulks planted or the sound that each flower color begins with. Talk about which flower is your favorite and how many are in the bouquet. Plan your own garden when you finish this beautiful book!
Fish Eyes is written and designed by Ehlert as a counting book, but when your child and you have experienced it that way, look at it in some new ways. Talk about where each fish might be going and what that fish is going to do when he or she gets there. Examine the wonderful patterns on each fish and decide what kind of fish you would like to be.You can do a lot of the same things with Ehlert’s Growing Vegetable Soup. Read the story first. Then go back to the first page and pay attention to the details on every page. Pick a page that your child finds especially interesting and try making up a little story about the things you see. Of course, when you are finished with the book for the day, have a nice supper of vegetable soup!!
Leaf Man, Lots of Spots, Eating the Alphabet, Rrralph, Snowballs and Nuts to You are also by Lois Ehlert. Her books all inspire thought and creativity, sharing and learning. After enjoying several of her books, try making your own collages and imagining stories to go with them.