Natural restlessness often makes it difficult for young readers to settle down with a book for any length of time. However, it is widely accepted that readers usually have more finely-tuned intellectual abilities, stronger emotional makeup and better communication skills than non-readers; readers have greater opportunities to succeed in life. Therefore, given the importance of reading in broadening the horizons of a life, it is imperative to work around any obstacles to a child’s reading.
Increased comprehension, increased interest
One of the reasons for a child shirking books could be poor comprehension of the written content. If a child cannot understand the content, it is unlikely that the book will hold her attention for long. In order to entertain, the content of the book must be simplified such that the child gains comprehension and subsequently, interest in the book. One of the ways to do this is to have visuals that are eye-catching but at the same time, help the child to decode the accompanying text. Interesting illustrations are a sure way to stimulate interest in books by increasing comprehension and grabbing attention at the same time.
Simplified concepts for increased interest
For young readers, the educational material may be difficult to grasp, especially complex subjects and tough concepts. However, visual explanations in the form of charts, illustrations, and cartoons can help children respond more enthusiastically to the learning. Well-illustrated children’s books of all types can be used to cater to the varied interests and tastes of the children.
Visuals for a range of imaginations
Children’s imaginations are entirely different from an adults and illustrations help cater to the range of imaginations, rather than the child having to depend on an adult for explanations. During the initial years, before they become independent readers, use of illustrated books can help children to learn independently. With the help of illustrated books, children can reinforce their basic knowledge of concepts like numbers, alphabets, object names etc. Colourful graphics in books stimulate children’s imagination, allowing them to meander through their imaginative world at leisure.
Imagination and fantasy are as important as knowledge for achieving success in life. Children are naturally drawn towards fantasy, as is obvious from the longstanding popularity of the classics like Cinderella, Ugly Duckling, Gulliver’s Travels and Alice in Wonderland. And illustrations are an important part of sustaining the narrative in this fantasy world.
Illustrated children’s books are a necessary and special segment of literature. If used well, illustrated books can make children into lifelong readers.