In our Reading Recovery lessons, a picture walk is a shared time between the teacher and the student before he or she is asked to read the book for the first time. The student holds the book, turns the pages, and describes what is noticed in the pictures. He/she may be able to describe where the story happens, the characters in the story, and what might be happening on each page.
Picture walks may spark interest in the book and give a purpose for the student to want to read and learn more about it. Picture walks can also help the student to connect the pictures in the story to their own experiences.
I have been very impressed with how each of my current students can introduce themselves to a new book each day. I have not needed to contribute very much at all. My role has been to check that the new vocabulary is known (e.g. tractor) and to introduce ‘book language’ (e.g. after all).
You may like to have your child do a picture walk sometimes when he /she is looking at a library book, or another book, that has not been read before. Children should be encouraged to talk more about books (or anything else) because it encourages them to quickly recall words they have heard or read before to communicate what they want to say.
To read more about a picture book walk click on this picture from earlylit.net for a great brochure.