I get this listserv email from Kathy's blog about Illustrating and Writing for children. It's kind of lovely, with tips and bits on writing, publishing, ups and downs, and once I even saw blogger Shannon Messenger featured on it--about how she got an agent. It's worth signing up for.
However, today, I opened it up, and what article is featured in it today? This, about the sad, slow death of picture books.
This is kind of depressing to me--first of all, if you read the article, that some parents are pushing their kids to read and not allowing them to look at picture books. All for the sake of learning? Pshaw. Pshaw, I say again! Why, what's wrong with instilling a love of reading first? And what are we saying when we insinuate at a very young age that only pushing kids to read books at higher reading levels will bring knowledge? If you haven't read this article yet, check out this quote from it:
“They’re 4 years old, and their parents are getting them ‘Stuart Little,’ ” said Dara La Porte, the manager of the children’s department at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington. “I see children pick up picture books, and then the parents say, ‘You can do better than this, you can do more than this.’ It’s a terrible pressure parents are feeling — that somehow, I shouldn’t let my child have this picture book because she won’t get into Harvard.”
Some of my favorite books are children's: middle grade, young adult and picture books. Last Christmas, my Mom picked up a gem I found, which I got wrapped under the tree--Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree. Let me tell you, this book has it all--cute photos, clever rhyming text, an ironic twist! I encourage you all to check it out.
In fact, I encourage you all to post and share some of your favorites--new or old--that are picture books.
So for the rest of the month, on Tuesdays, I'm going to share classic picture books and authors. And I do hope you all go out and hunt them down. Even for yourself--I know I still do.
On an unrelated side note, be sure to sign up for my Blogfest: Retold! It should, hopefully, be a fantastic time.