Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer, Doctor of Philology, Professor at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany
Books for babies and children younger than three years of age are still underrated in children’s literature studies and literacy studies, although they play a significant role in young children’s linguistic, cognitive, and emotional development. The presentation show that these children’s books promote emergent literacy as a prerequisite for the acquisition of more complex literacy abilities, such as visual literacy, literary literacy, and media literacy. In order to carve out these aspects, the paper first explore the correlation between language acquisition and the understanding of concepts and also elaborate on the visual codes young children have to learn when looking at picturebooks. Second, the increasing variety of picturebook types for the little ones are demonstrated, by showing of how these align with children’s developing cognitive and linguistic skills. Finally, this paper demonstrates that these picturebooks gradually introduce children into the concept of “story”.