Today is Picture Book Wednesday and we’ll be looking at a format that is used to great effect in a lot of picture books, using the delightful and funny Do Princesses Have Best Friends Forever? by Carmela LaVigna Coyle, illustrated by Mike Gordon and Carl Gordon.
The rhythmic give and take of a question and answer format is ideally suited for picture books. The question engages young reader/listeners and encourages them to respond before finding out how the book answers it.
The book starts out with the main character asking if a friend can come over to play and the mother saying she can. Then the questions that follow inspire a response from the listener: “Are you a princess just like me?” – “I’ve been a princess since I was three!” Each question not only may elicit a response from the young listener, but the answer (depicted with hilarity and warmth in the illustrations) will have kids giggling and parents grinning.
Other books that have a similar format may use an actual question or perhaps another device, like If/Then.
There are many ways to engage your listening in your text. As you read a a writer, see if you can identify other stories that have some kind of question and answer format. Let me know what you find!