There is probably no more important section of any children's library than that devoted to books designed to help children become fluent readers. This area of the collection offers special challenges for librarians for it is where knowledge of children's literature and know-how of reading practices merge. Recently, with a greater emphasize on graphic elements, books for beginning readers are using different formats to make texts engaging and exciting for beginning readers. At the same time picture books are experimenting with text that allow them to be successful beginning readers. Four writers and illustrators who write and/or illustrate books for beginning readers, Keven Henkes, Greg Pizzoli, Cece Bell and Jerdine Nolen will address some of the above changes and how they have impacted their books.
• Understand the elements of a successful beginning reader. Evaluate the effectiveness of various formats of beginning readers.
• Describe what elements in picture books can also make them successful beginning readers. Explain how new design and graphic techniques are changing the look and success of beginning readers
• Offer diagnostic tips to parents and caregivers who are looking for "just the right book" for their emergent reader.