Like most children learning to read, I leaned heavily on illustrations to help me understand and enjoy stories. Images provided a bridge to comprehension when words were little more than mysterious hieroglyphs. But as I became more comfortable with the words and moved on to chapter books and novels in upper elementary school, I missed that extra layer of story the art had provided.
Illustrations can arm apprehensive new readers with confidence, particularly if they're visual learners. They also offer a space in the story to pause, to reflect on the meaning of what one has just read. To read a book with pictures is to place oneself in those images, connecting more deeply to the characters and their world.
Lauren Castillo, "Animal Magnetism," The New York Times Book Review, October 4, 2020