My desire to increase curriculum time for health education in preK-12 classrooms led me to design the Children's Picture Book Database at Miami University (CPBD@MU) in 1995 – and to continue to sustain and update this award-winning site as an interdisciplinary database for all ages, academic subjects, and reading purposes. The use of picture books in my teaching and research can be summarized by three generalizations:
*Picture books provide readers opportunities for language development and curriculum content knowledge that are integrated and seamless, not divided by subject matter like in schools;
*Picture books provide a rich backdrop for an integrated human experience for readers, young and old; and
*Picture books often reflect realistic situations of daily life by telling stories and scenarios through a variety of language elements, e.g., words, pictures, numbers, rhythms, body language, and environmental cues (Ubbes, 2008).
Changes in education and health policy in the U.S. continue to sharpen my academic focus to promote inquiry-based approaches in educating for health (Ubbes, 2008). Inquiry-based approaches help to empower people to “solve problems and craft products that are valued in one or more cultures” (Gardner, 1999). The major problem I hope to solve is health literacy. By crafting educational materials and innovative websites that contribute to national and global health, I can give people access to picture book abstracts, electronic texts, and public service announcements that can transform the lives of those it serves. To that end, you can use my first website, the Children's Picture Book Database at Miami University, to find picture books on a variety of topics, concepts, and skills for people of different backgrounds, needs, and interests. The ability to do a database search for topics, concepts, and skills in 5700 picture books will help you to build an interdisciplinary curricula that promotes an integrated human experience in life and learning.