Washington: Kids learn more complex language when they read a storybook with only pictures as compared to a picture-vocabulary book, a new research has claimed.

"Too often, parents dismiss picture storybooks, as they are wordless, and is not considered real reading or is just for fun," the study's author, Professor Daniela O'Neill of the Department of Psychology at University of Waterloo, , said.

She said that the findings of her study showed that reading picture storybooks with children exposes them to the kind of talk that is really important for children to hear, especially as they transition to school.

The study by O'Neill and Angela Nyhout, a graduate student, recorded 25 mothers while they read to their children both a wordless picture storybook and a vocabulary book with pictures.

O'Neill said that they found in their study, mothers frequently used forms of complex talk when reading the picture storybook to their child than the picture vocabulary book.

"So, when reading the picture story, we would hear moms say things such as 'where do you think the squirrel is going to go?' or 'we saw a squirrel this morning in the backyard.' But we didn't hear this kind of complex talk as often with vocabulary books, where mentioning just the name of the animal, for example, was more common," Professor O'Neill said.

She said that books of all kinds can build children's language and literacy skills, but they do so perhaps in different ways.

The findings have been published in the journal First Language.


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