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Picture book competition inspires reading aloud

An annual picture book competition is used in Dundee to promote reading and illustration among primary children.

The competition, which has been running for five years, spans an eight- week period at the beginning of the year and involves P6 and P1 pupils.

"When you first go in to talk about the project, P6 are suspicious because they think they are too grown up for picture books," says Moira Foster, an education support officer for Dundee. "But when you explain how sophisticated they are, and that they are going to be asked to use their critical skills, they become enthusiastic."

The children design displays to promote the books in public libraries; P6 pupils are given a crash course in reading to younger children and read the books in pairs to the P1s.

"Not all of our children come from a background where they are read to," continues Ms Foster. "We wanted to give young children an idea of what it is like and how satisfying that can be."

Finally, all the children vote for their favourite book and the winner is announced at an awards ceremony in the city, with children from participating schools making the case for the different titles.

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