The Book Development Program began with the successful development of a set of 75 reading books compiled in structured reading levels for emerging readers, and Big Books used for shared reading activities. With this, YLAI continued to develop more books that could be enjoyed by Indonesian children. Through collaboration with the international organization, Room to Read (www.roomtoread.org), YLAI received training on creating children’s books, and initially produced 6 quality picture children’s books that have been distributed to libraries throughout Indonesia. Two of these books won the Samsung Kids Time Award competition in 2016. YLAI will continue to further develop 10 picture books under this program to support literacy for children in Indonesia. In turn, YLAI also provides training for writers and illustrators to produce Indonesian picture books in different contexts.
The Structured Reading Program using leveled reading books in the early classes is a comprehensive literacy learning program, because teachers can guide children through the stages of learning to read, and measure their individual reading ability. One of the organizations that develop leveled reading books in Indonesia is Yayasan Literasi Anak Indonesia (YLAI). YLAI has built an innovative reading program in Indonesia in the form of 75 titles of leveled reading books, teacher guides, student workbooks, and a set of Big Books, to support teachers in guiding students to improve reading and writing skills in the early primary grades.
Besides instructional leveled reading books, picture storybooks also support children to improve their literacy skills. The picture storybook is a children’s storybook, where illustrations have the same focus with the text in the story or perhaps even more. Usually a picture book consists of 32 pages, with illustrations on every page or one from each pair facing the page. Picture storybooks also have interesting illustrations and are expected to encourage children’s imagination to connect with the story in the book more closely.
YLAI uses picture storybooks to complement the interactive reading program. Teachers use the books to guide students to interact further with the story being read.
YLAI Resource Development Program provides training materials to develop books that can be used in the Balanced Reading Program, such as leveled reading books for guided reading, Big Books for shared reading, and picture storybooks for interactive reading. Each type of the book has a different focus and development strategy. The training on book development aims to provide support for writers and illustrators in the process of creating new books according to the needs of the program.