Personal Connections to Picture Books in Preschool: Comparing Spontaneous Responses of Preschoolers

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This study investigated the response patterns of preschool children to different types of picture books. Using information books and storybooks for comparison, the researcher sought to determine if children made more personal connections when responding to one type of text over another. Over a four-week period, spontaneous responses from a sample of sixteen children were recorded as a teacher read two information books and two storybooks aloud in four separate sessions. Quantitative comparisons investigated differences between response types across all four books and for each book type; further analyses examined the factors of age and gender in these comparisons. Results revealed that overall, information books were significantly more likely to elicit personal connections in comparison to storybooks. However, significant differences were discovered between age groups. No differences were found in comparisons of gender. Findings from this research support the argument that information books can play an important role in the development of early comprehension skills, but that storybooks continue to play a very important role for our youngest preschoolers.


Keywords: Preschool, Children, Literature, Genre, Language
Stream: Literature, Literary Studies , Language, Linguistics , Teaching and Learning
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Terry Robertson

Doctoral Recipient, Graduate School of Education, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Acton, MA, USA

Dr. Robertson received a B.S. in Communication Disorders from the University of New Hampshire and a Masters in Education from Boston University before completing her doctorate in Education at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, concentrating in Language Arts & Literacy. As a certified Reading Specialist, she has provided individual and small group instruction for reading, language, writing, and study skills support for children in preschool through grade nine. She is currently consulting for an education publisher and provides teacher training in literature-based character education. Her dissertation research focused on the influence of picture books in eliciting responses from children in preschool. Her doctoral chair and advisor was Bill Harp, Ed.D.

Ref: H08P0711