Voices in the book, meaning beyond the text: The importance of relationships among texts for understanding reading and related instruction

Year: 2004

Author: Harris, Pauline, McKenzie, Barbra

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper explores ways in which children's picture books form networks of relationships and their implications for readers and classroom teachers. It does so within a conceptual framework that identifies a number of ways in which texts network with other texts. It uses this framework as a means for nurturing and documenting preservice teachers' understandings of how children's picture books work especially picture books that they deemed to be too difficult and confronting for children. This paper records the journey that our pre-service teachers undertook as they came to interact with these texts in a more meaningful way. We join them as they move from an initial resistance with children's picture books that push the boundaries of convention, to a position where they become advocates for using these texts in the classroom. Implications for how we understand reading are discussed, and applications to classroom practice are explored.