A Book in Hand

When I worked The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art I created the Whole Book Approach storytime model, and I also developed another model that I called A Book in Hand. In A Book in Hand storytimes, each child has a copy of the picturebook so they can read along with me. And at the end of reading, we’d open books end-to-end to see the whole story laid out before us. I used A Book in Hand w infant, toddler & pre-k classes where I gave a board book copy of the book I read aloud to each child. Older kids often have reading groups at school where each kid has a copy of a novel, and I wanted to do the same with little ones reading picture books and board books to let them read pictures & practice book manipulation skills.I did a storytime residency at the BU lab preschool, and one of the most exciting things was seeing how ELL students felt more included as they read pictures & pointed to them even if finding English words to share their ideas was difficult.

I have a book & articles out about #WholeBookApproach http://megandowdlambert.com/reading-picture-books-with-chi…/ but I haven’t written about A Book in Hand yet. Seeing video from a Wildwood Elementary librarian who used it with k-2 students https://sites.google.com/…/…/blog/pgosponsoredvisitingauthor to prep for author visits from Corinne Demas & Artemis Roehrig makes me want to revisit A Book in Hand work wit kids of all ages. I developed A Book in Hand for the youngest kids to examine book manipulation skill development and to create a sense of access and entitlement to books. But I see great potential for this approach w older kids.I’m especially interested in leading Book in Hand storytimes with wordless picturebooks.

I think I’ll dig up some old files to share about Book in Hand methods that I articulated for people wanting to try it out. One of my favorite things about leading this kind of storytime is that oftentimes with A Book in Hand, the line between book & toy blurs. I love that playful part of it–tho it’s true that Book in Hand storytimes can get out of hand. But the happy chaos is worth the sense of delight & discovery & access & book-entitlement that putting books into kids’ hands at storytime can bring.


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