Quotable: On the “Goldilocks Effect” of reading picture books to children

Thoughts for your Monday and this week

“As with the first bowl of porridge that Goldilocks finds in the house of the Three Bears, the sound of the storytelling voice on its own seemed to be ‘too cold’ to get the children’s brain networks to fully engage.

“Like the second bowl that Goldilocks samples, animation of the sort that children might see on a TV screen or tablet was ‘too hot.’ There is just too much going on, too quickly, for the children to be able to participate in what they were seeing. Small children’s brains have no difficulty registering bright, fast-moving images, as experience teaches and MRI scanning confirms, but the giddy shock and awe of animation doesn’t give them time to exercise their deeper cognitive faculties.

“Just as Goldilocks sighs with relief when she takes a spoonful from the third bowl of porridge
and finds that it is ‘just right,’ so a small child can relax into the experience of being read a
picture book.”

Meghan Cox Gurdon in the Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2019
“The Secret Power of the Children’s Picture Book”

– Diane

3 Responses to “Quotable: On the “Goldilocks Effect” of reading picture books to children”

  1. Reply Christine Williams

    Nothing will ever replace the sound of the human voice & the interaction between a little one and an adult loved one. Reading aloud to children, whether it be a picture book or the printed word, is essential to their academic future, their emotional growth, and especially their spiritual growth. I had high school students who enjoyed reading aloud and having someone read aloud to them. So excited that your books are in demand to be printed in other languages so parents, grandparents, big sisters & brothers, aunts & uncles, friends can read aloud to little people all over the world about the our awesome God!!!!

    • Reply Diane Stortz

      Hi Chris! You always have been an encouragement to me! And you have the voice of experience as a teacher, so thank you for this comment!

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