How Is Children’s Development Influenced by Picture Books?

Name: Kyoka Narita

Country: Japan

Recently, the numbers of children who use smart phones before they sleep instead of reading picture books are increasing now. Do you know how important picture books are? I strongly encourage the parents who provide smart phones to their kids to give picture books to their kids instead. There are a lot of factors that picture books provide, such as a great influence to children’s development. Let’s take a look at some influences below.

  1. Make children’s brains more active

While parents read picture books to their children, the children’s limbic system of the brain works more actively than usual.  The limbic system of the brain is one of the most crucial parts of our body which administers our controls, the need for sleep, emotions and memory. In addition, colorful picture books can be an excellent influence on their optic nerve. From this influence, children can get a superb sense of color.

  1. Communication skills

When parents read books to their children, parents usually change their voices, such as a sad voice, a happy voice and the other voices of feelings because parents want their children to comprehend the main character’s feelings. Parents also change their facial expressions while they are reading. Therefore, children can learn a variety of feelings: happiness, enjoyment, sadness, anger and the other feelings. The skill will be helpful to children when they communicate with other people. For example, children can identify how people feel because they have already learned some feelings through picture books.   Therefore, reading about a variety of characters’ feelings has a positive influence on children’s communication skills.


  1. Improvement of vocabulary and expression skills

One experiment shows that, in terms of children’s vocabulary skills, children are influenced by the amount of words that parents speak to their children. There is no doubt that parents talk to their children every day. However, you have to acknowledge the fact that it is just spoken language. Picture books are written in proper words and there are a lot of onomatopoeic words and adjectives. Owing to proper words, onomatopoeic words, and adjectives, children’s vocabulary and expression skills can be improved. If children have limited skills of expressions, they will face challenging circumstances because it is hard for them to interpret their observations appropriately. On the other hand, if children’s vocabulary skills are developed, they can acquire high skills of expressions. Likewise, these skills can be useful when children learn other languages.



  1. Improvement of curiosity

When parents read picture books to their children, they will ask a lot of questions to their parents about picture books plots. For example, “why does she/he feel like that?” or “why did she/he act like that?”     If parents are able to answer every single question, children can consider and comprehend more deeply. Therefore, answering the questions stimulates the children’s curiosity. Moreover, some experts consider that curiosity is helpful for children’s brains in terms of their memory.


In conclusion, picture books have a lot of worthy influences on children’s development. I strongly encourage parents to read picture books to their children instead of giving them smart phones.


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