REALBOOKS are written to entertain and delight children. Real books is a name given to a category of picture books using authentic language which are different from picture books written with graded vocabulary to help English children learn how to read English.

REALpictureBOOKS are part of most English speaking children’s cultural experience. They include classics like Eric Carle’s Hungry Caterpillar or Pat Hutchins’s Rosie’s Walk as well as newly published books. Every year many thousands of new picture books are published in the UK.

Today REALpictureBOOKS are becoming part of programmes introducing English to non-native speaking children. Children enjoy them; they help create the feel-good factor about learning English (see Articles) They provide stimulating experiences which match children’s all-round learning needs and provide interesting experiences in which to pick-up English.

Ghost Train - coverWhen children have opportunities to read and browse in their own time, children not only pick-up language (literacy) they also develop skills in getting information from pictures and different print styles (visual literacy, see Articles.) Children who are used to reading an assortment of well selected REALpictureBOOKS develop confidence in using English and approaching new ideas. They also become more creative as they are exposed to the art and design of some of the best artists in Britain today.

Having, holding and reading a book at your own speed is important if children are to get the most from a book and consolidate their own learning. Young children like to return to a book over and over again; their threshold of boredom is different from adults and older children. Book browsing is a form of child-led play that is important for consolidating learning.

Lions in the Wild - coverREALBOOK NEWS was founded in 1997 in response to requests for information on suitable REALpictureBOOKS. REALBOOK NEWS selects the Top Ten books used by adults and a selection of newly published books for Nursery and Primary aged beginners in English (see selection.) Advice is also given on how to use REALpictureBOOKS See Using Realbooks. Back Issues – Issue 1 to Issue 15 can be found in archives.

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