Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Save The Picture Book!
Save the Whales! Save the rainforests! Save the Picture Book!
I've been reading about the decline of the picture book. So sad.
It seems that many parents are anxious to get their kids reading in "real" books and are bypassing picture books in favor of easy readers and chapter books. That combined with the economic pressure publishers are feeling on every level and the ginormous cost of producing a picture book is really hurting the picture book market.
Since I am a picture book writer this is disturbing news, but it goes much deeper than that. I am not just a writer of picture books, I am a lover of picture books.
Picture books are incredibly valuable in shaping the imagination, the vocabulary, and the cultural and social awareness of children. Picture books are an essential part of the fabric of childhood, feeding the love of books long before a child can study phonics.
Reading is more than decoding words. Reading is an adventure. Reading can take you anywhere. Picture books open this door in a most delightful way, feeding the senses, and creating a world of possibilities.
Who doesn't remember snuggling up to someone you love with a wonderful picture book, either as a parent or as a child? Who doesn't remember star belly sneeches,the wild rumpus, or a terrible horrible no good very bad day? Who doesn't have a memory of a particularly delicious picture book? Who has forgotten Dr. Seuss?
We're in a hurry now days, to nowhere in particular. We've gotta move on to "real" books. We haven't got time for the richly illustrated and layered literature in picture books. We haven't time for magic.
What's the Hurry!
This is Children's Book Week. Let's Celebrate. Save the Picture Book!