Drawing Elephants & Learning How to Read: Yes, They Are Connected!
2022 Books to Treasure Illustrator to Visit Tulsa November 18
Every year since 2003 the Tulsa City-County Library has celebrated the joy and beauty of artwork in children’s books with the Books to Treasure program (www.tulsalibrary.org/bookstotreasure). With the support of the Anne and Henry Zarrow Family Foundation, every fall the library brings in an outstanding children’s book illustrator, gives out free books by that illustrator to every second grader in Tulsa and Tulsa County and issues special library cards for second graders.
Past Books to Treasure illustrators include such luminaries as Floyd Cooper, Mo Willems, Grace Lin and Christian Robinson.
Does the library just like pretty pictures? Well, yes (who doesn’t?), but there’s a lot more to Books to Treasure than that.
As originally conceived – and still practiced – Books to Treasure is the library’s way of helping children connect visual storytelling in children’s books to the difficult but rewarding task of learning how to read.
By second grade, some children are reading well and with fluency, having mastered the phonics and alphabetic skills needed to decode text. But many are still in the process of matching letters on the page to sounds, and sounds to words and meanings they know – the first part of learning how to read.
Connecting these children to books with beautiful or interesting artwork – and giving them the chance to meet the artist behind the illustrations – increases their motivation to learn how to read. The full experience of decoding text into meaningful sentences while looking at captivating illustrations can be just the thing to usher children into the joys of reading.
This year, the Books to Treasure illustrator is Katherine Roy, and the book that every second grader in Tulsa and Tulsa County will receive is How to Be an Elephant, which Roy also wrote. The nonfiction book follows the growth and development of a baby elephant – and everything she must learn. In addition to learning more about elephants (and there’s a lot to learn!), second graders will also love looking at the accompanying watercolor paintings of elephants eating, moving and even laughing.
But wait! There’s EVEN MORE!
- Outstanding elephant content for your kids. Go to tulsalibrary.org/kids for a deep dive into the topic of “ELEPHANTS!” as part of our Kids Read Curious World resource site. You’ll find all kinds of fun things for your kids, from crossword puzzles to videos to activities and posters.
- Great book lists. Also part of the Kids Read Curious World focus on elephants, you’ll find curated book lists that feature elephants and that different kinds of readers – from “Class Clown” to “Magic, Dragons, & Swords” – will enjoy.
- Special library cards – just for second graders. Every second grader in Tulsa or Tulsa County will have the chance to get a special Books to Treasure library card with artwork from How to Be an Elephant. This is coordinated through schools in Oct. and Nov., but you can take your second-grade child to any library branch location to get a card.
- FREE BOOKS! The library will be sending free copies of How to Be an Elephant to schools to distribute to second grade students in November and December, which they can take to the…
- Illustrator Visit and Book Signing. Katherine Roy, the 2022 Books to Treasure illustrator, will be making a public presentation and signing books on Fri., Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. at the Hardesty Regional Library (8316 E. 93rd) in Connor’s Cove.
More Fabulous Elephant Books for You…
- We Are in a Book! written and illustrated by Mo Willems – or any Elephant & Piggie book! – Elephant & Piggie are a classic comedy team, and former Books To Treasure illustrator Mo Willems is a master of art and humor!
- 10 Reasons to Love an Elephant written by Catherine Barr and illustrated by Hanako Clulow – Another fascinating look at this fascinating animal.
- The Elephants’ Guide to Hide and Seek written by Kjersten Hayes and illustrated by Gladys Jose – It’s hard to play hide and seek when you’re an elephant! This “guidebook” is funny and sweet.
- The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate – This is a chapter book that is best shared by reading aloud. This is a moving and beautiful novel about an aging circus gorilla determined to help a baby elephant escape his own fate.