A comparison between informational and narrative picture books as a context for reasoning between caregivers and 4-year-old children

Jane Torr, Lynn Clugston

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    It is widely recognised that adult/child interactions surrounding the sharing of picture books are significant for young children's literacy understandings (De Temple & Beals, 1991; Snow, 1993). Recently Pappas (1993) has challenged the traditional view that narratives or stories are the most appropriate vehicle for learning in young children. To date, little research has focused on whether and how the interactions surrounding picture books vary according to the genre of the book. In this study, two picture books, one narrative and one informational in style, were read to 12 four-year-old children. The study found that the discourse surrounding the informational book was greater in quantity, contained more cognitively demanding questions, more conditional clauses and more interactions involving reasoning and technical terminology. These findings suggest that the informational picture book has distinctive features which encourage and support children in their construction of new knowledge and patterns of reasoning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)25-41
    Number of pages17
    JournalEarly Child Development and Care
    Volume159
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1999

    Keywords

    • Adult/child discourse
    • Functional grammar
    • Informational picture books
    • Narrative picture books
    • Questions
    • Reasoning

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