Picture book cements vocabulary as kids tell the story
MIDVALE, Utah – Sometimes kids want to tell the story. Today they can — guided by author and media professor Karl Beckstrand’s concepts and art by Jordan C. Brun. Beckstrand’s 23rd book, “Gopher Golf: A Wordless Picture Book,” depicts the joy — and trials — a couple of gophers feel while golfing (with help from other critters).
“Children love to make up stories,” says Beckstrand of his third wordless book, which includes an animal finding activity and online secrets for children ages 2 – 6. The colorful sports book with silly characters definitely has a story progression, “but how it’s expressed in words is up to the ‘reader,’” he says.
“Asking kids to tell what’s happening in the pictures can bring a different story every time you read it,” says Beckstrand. His Stories Without Words series can serve as curriculum for non-readers or early writers because it helps cement vocabulary and sentence structure in young minds. The illustrations by themselves can prompt uncontrolled snorts of laughter.
Beckstrand, who won an International Book Award for his western novel “To Swallow the Earth,” has children’s books on careers, astronomy, immigration and five books on food. His other no-words books include playful “Polar Bear Bowler: A Story Without Words” and “Butterfly Blink: A Book Without Words,” which highlights insect habitat conservation.
Many of Beckstrand’s books have multicultural characters, and many are Spanish/bilingual mysteries with language pronunciation guides. Most have online extras and surprise endings. Beckstrand’s work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, The Horn Book and School Library Journal. All may be found at Amazon, BN.com, iBooks, Ingram, https://PremioBooks.com, Target.com and Walmart.com.