How to participate in Picture Book Club …
  1. Get the suggested books from your library or bookstore (local or online). See PICTURE BOOK CLUB BOOK LIST for the complete list of books for each week.
  2. Before reading each of the weekly books to your child, READ FIRST “What Adults Can Learn from This Story.”
  3. Read one or both books to your child as many times through the week as your child wants to hear them and you have time to read.
  4. Consider doing whatever activities you think are appropriate for the age and maturity of your child from “Make This Story Come Alive for Your Child.”


(a story about children’s special talents)
In IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT, Iggy Peck was described as “… an architect and has been since he was two.” His mom thought the tower he built was “the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!” until she realized dirty diapers were involved. Then, she said, “That’s disgusting and nasty! It stinks!” In second grade, things were not good for Iggy Peck. His teacher said, “We do not talk of buildings in here!” A scary experience in a building at age seven led her to avoid all talk of buildings no matter what. “With no chance to build, his [Iggy’s] interest was killed. Now second grade was a bore.” That is until Iggy saved the day when on a field trip the class became stranded. He organized the class to build a bridge out of anything they could find. This was the beginning of his grown-up architect career that included him being a weekly guest speaker for his former second grade teacher.
“What Adults Can Learn from This Story …”
  • It is important that your child’s special talents and interests come to light and are encouraged – at home and at school. For some children, talents are easy to see quite early. For others, they develop more slowly with a lot of trial and error.
  • When children are young they may not be aware they have special talents and interests. They need adults to see those talents in them, point them out, and provide opportunities for them to develop them over time.
  • Sometimes talents are not very easy to see and require paying careful attention. Notice what your child wants to do a lot, what she is really good at, what she seems to stick with for longer periods of time than anything else, and what she goes back to do over and over again.
  • There are many ways your child can show you his special talents and interests.
    • What does he have the most fun at?
    • What types of questions does he ask?
    • How does he play with his toys? Does he turn them upside down, pretend they are things they are not, take them apart?
  • Children need opportunities to explore their talents or interests to the fullest even if is messy and means using things in unusual, unexpected ways.
  • Whatever a child’s interests are they should have a place in in school. The best way to learn to read is to read about something you are interested in. Many a child’s love of learning has been unlocked by simply making his school lessons each day be about the things that interest him. All things have math in them (sports, cooking, building things, music) and science in them (machines, bicycles, cars, the human body). Everything in a child’s world can be used to teach the reading, writing, and arithmetic.
  • Many children having difficulty in school are actually gifted children who are bored. If your child is having trouble performing well in school, is causing trouble in school, or is just plain not happy at school, consider whether he is bored and whether his talents and interests are being ignored.
  • People often worry that because a child shows a special interest or talent while young, she will be pigeonholed into a career that won’t really be right for her as an adult. This idea may have had some value years ago, but not so much anymore. A child today will have multiple careers in his lifetime. A child’s early interests and talents may be an important first step to a firstcareer while leading to many different careers as well.
  • Appreciate your child’s interests, even if others don’t. Even if she isn’t good enough at things yet, there is no telling where her determination could take her down the road.
“Make this Story Come Alive for Your Child …”
  • Ask your child what he is most interested in. Use Iggy as an example, he was most interested in building things. Tell your child what things you were interested in when you were young and what you are especially interested in now.
  • Ask your child what would help him learn more about what he is interested in. Tell him what you plan to do now to enjoy your special interests.
  • Think about whether you can get your child some lessons or classes. If they are too expensive, maybe there is a volunteer in your neighborhood, at work, or at church who knows a lot about what your child is interested in and would share what he or she knows with your child.
  • Help your child find other kids to be with that have the same interest or talent as he or she does.
  • Find ways for your child to be around adults who have the same interest or talent. If you have that talent in your family tree, be sure to share that and put your child in touch with those relatives. It is helpful for children to know they get their talents and interests “naturally” – that there is a reason they are the way they are.


THAT MAKES ME MAD! By Steven Kroll
(a story about anger)
In THAT MAKES ME MAD! Nina gets mad about all sorts of things. “… little, ordinary. everyday things. Maybe just the things that make you mad, too …” But, perhaps the most important thing to know is what makes Nina feel better, “… when you let me tell you how angry I am!”
“What Adults Can Learn from This Story …”
  • It is normal for children to get angry. Don’t be embarrassed by or afraid of your child’s anger. The job of adults is to be as mater-of-fact as possible in dealing with her anger.
  • Anger is temporary. It comes and goes and starts and stops. There is calm after the storm.
  • If a house rule or consequence for breaking a rule is involved, stick to the rule and follow through with the consequence even if it means an angry outburst.
  • If dealing with a young child, adults may need to use their friendly muscles. For example, to physically remove the child from a situation or gently hold him in a quiet place to calm down.
  • The next time you want to say, “In a minute,” stop and remember that this is a chance to build trust with your child. Be sure you respond when you say you will. If “In a minute. ” is not what you really mean, change your words. (“As soon as I finish ….” or “It will take me until the big hand is on 6 before I can stop what I am doing.”)
  • Children need to know it’s OK to be angry. They also need to know that adults will keep them from hurting themselves, others, or things while they are angry. It is important for adults to listen to their child’s angry feelings. Listening does not mean giving in to your child. It simply tells her that her feelings are important.
“Make this Story Come Alive for Your Child …”
  • Ask your child if he gets angry at some of the same things Nina does? Which things? Tell your child if you get angry at some of the same things Nina does. Tell her which things.
  • Ask your child what makes him feel better when he is angry? Tell Your child what makes you feel better when you are angry.
  • Ask your child if there is something she would like you to do when she is angry. If giving-in to rules or overlooking consequences is part of that answer, explain that it is your job to teach her the importance of rules, which is an important part of growing up.


Past PICTURE BOOK CLUB postings:



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