Picture This—an illustration-led reading guide from Children’s Books Ireland aims to break down barriers to children’s reading
Children’s Books Ireland has launched a new reading guide celebrating picturebooks and illustration.
Picture This features over 230 recommended reads for children and young people aged 0–18, which have been reviewed by experts in children’s literature.
Picture This focuses on books with strong visual narratives, including wordless or silent books; graphic novels and comics; picturebooks for all ages and graphic diary-style texts.
The guide aims to highlight books, series and texts that might encourage reluctant readers or those with language barriers to engage with reading.
Elaina Ryan, CEO of Children’s Books Ireland, said that pictures are important: “They are rich and expressive and joyful and complex. As a child, they’re our first dip into the world of storytelling – but they’re not something to be left behind once a child is comfortable reading text. Pictures on the page aren’t just a stepping stone, they’re a journey in themselves.
“Presenting an alternative route to the linear progression from picturebooks to chapter books, we want Picture This to give children and young people just a little bit of space to discover a love of reading at their own pace, to read stories in formats they never knew about or would never have considered, to come back again and again to an illustration, experiencing the joy of finding something new each time.
“We particularly hope that these stories will have special appeal for young readers with reading difficulties, or those whose first language may not be English or Irish.”
Irish Language Books
Testament to the increased visibility of excellent books for children as Gaeilge, the guide, whose Irish name ‘Amharc! Breathnaigh! Féach!’, translates to ‘Look! Look! Look!’, features 29 Irish language books.
These include new releases, such as An Slipéar Gloine by Fearghas Mac Lochlainn and Paddy Donnelly, and family favourites such as Geansaí Otto by Sadhbh Devlin and Róisín Hahessy.
All books from Irish authors, illustrators, publishers or those written in the Irish language are highlighted in the guide with a shamrock.
Picture This is now available for free in every library authority in Ireland and in sixty participating bookshops island-wide.
The guide is also free to download from the Children’s Books Ireland website here.