mary_roche_book“Developing Children’s Critical Thinking Through Picturebooks” is a guide for primary and early years students and teachers by Mary Roche, Senior Lecturer in Education at St. Patrick’s College in Thurles. In the Introduction to the book, Mary herself refers to it as a “guide to those who wish to introduce children to good literature, big ideas, critical engagement, and the notion of making meaning together through thinking and discussion”.

 In the book, the author introduces the idea which she refers to as “CT & BT” – Critical Thinking and Book Talk. This, she says, is an “approach to literacy that emphasises what I consider to be some of the neglected aspects of the field”. She says that she chose picturebooks, which she uses with students of all ages, as a stimulus because they are “hugely complex and amazing”.

The book is organised into two parts: The Why (chapters 1-5) and The How (chapters 6-8) of using picturebooks for critical thinking. There are many references to the practical aspects of doing CT&BT in the classroom. A long list of picturebooks referenced in the text is included at the back of the book.


The publisher, Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group, has kindly given Seomra Ranga a copy of Mary’s book for a competition on the site. To be in with a chance to win the book, simply fill in the form below with your details and the answer to the simple question. All entries for the competition must be in by 5pm this Thursday September 17th. Only one entry per teacher is permitted. The winner will be selected on Twitter (@seomraranga) after this time.

Please make sure that you give a contact email address that you can be contacted on immediately after the competition as teachers have previously forfeited prizes by not answering their emails promptly! Again, many thanks to Mary Roche and her publishers for sponsoring the prize for this competition.

Mary Roche’s book can be purchased online through Amazon, O’ Mahony’s and Easons, among others.