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Use Literature to Teach Emerging Readers

Brian Wildsmith was raised in a small mining village in Yorkshire, England, where, he says, "Everything was gray.  There wasn't any color.  It was all up to my imagination.  I had to draw in my head..."

Wow! I splashed a few examples up of what Wildsmith's imagination, drawing, creativity and talent led to... lucky us! to have his wonderful books to read to children.

Authors of children's literature have so much to teach.  Below are a few FAQs from Brian Wildsmith's web page...but take a 'look' for yourself. You will be impressed with the animals he draws and the vibrant colors he uses.  He is so talented!  Do you have any Brian Wildsmith books in your classroom library?

Include Wildsmith's books in your farm or animal unit of study.  They will keep your kids learning and reading.  He has the magic to invite the children into reading.
There is an art museum in Japan displaying Wildsmith's wonderful work...

a message from Wildsmith
The arts have always held a high place in Japanese life. Their love of beauty, and wonder of the world around them has been constantly passed on to their children in a never ending circle.  My life has been dedicated to producing picture books for children, which I hope reflect this love, helping them to observe, comprehend and appreciate the wondrous world that they have been born into.  I want to help them climb the mountain of life and reach the peak of enlightenment and fulfillment. This is the basic right of every child born on the earth.

                            Wildsmith answers:
Why do you paint with so much detail in your illustrations?      
I believe children appreciate details as well as color. I want to help young people wonder at the world and to become close observers of the beauty and harmony in nature.

Many of your books involve animal characters. Why do you choose to paint and write about animals?

We once had a blind dog that was mothered by a neighborhood dog. I was quite impressed by this and learned that animals show a great deal of compassion for one another.  When I paint animals, I imagine them as a child would. I want children to make personal connections to the animals in my books.

Wake Up, Wake Up!  is one on Wildsmith's books written and illustrated by him and Rebecca Wildsmith.

The sun wakes up the rooster who crows and wakes up the goose who honks and wakes up the sheep who bleat and so on until all the farm animals wake the farmer who feeds them.  The children love this book and it is a favorite when studying the farm.  This book has repetitive text and pattern to help emerging readers.  It is a small book with delightful illustrations.

I created some writing pages and flashcards to use with this book, and you can find them 
Vocabulary words are big and bold and easy to read.  You also create a matching activity using the pictures and words.  

Here are five more Wildsmith illustrations.  There are so many and I love them all!


Enjoy and remember to use great books and great authors to help you teach reading.