“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” ―Plutarch
Super excited to be participating in the 2014 6th annual PiBoIdMo this November!
What is PiBoIdMo? So glad you asked – it’s Picture Book Idea Month! We certainly can’t let novelists have all the fun in November with NaNoWriMo, so thankfully, Tara Lazar dreamed up this awesome concept so that picture book writers get our very own 30-day challenge: create 30 picture book concepts in 30 days.
I’ve already started my list, I can’t wait for November 1st!
Why am I so excited? Because I LOVE writing children’s picture books!
I love being a part of something so important, so critical. What I’m trying to say is that children are born curious. It’s curiosity that compels kids of all ages to touch, taste, smell, and explore the world around them. And to be a part of that—to celebrate and inspire curiosity, wonder, exploration, and day-dreaming—is a magical thing indeed. Because, surely, without curiosity, there’s little impetus for a child to discover or explore. Curiosity allows a child to look beyond their eyes, to explore the wonderment of their world, without any expectations or preconceived paradigms.
Children have surprising and extraordinary strengths and capabilities, linked with an inexhaustible need for expression and realization. When presented with stimulating and engaging experiences, children intuitively take full advantage of the opportunities to learn. The next time your youngster asks you “why?”—look at it as the perfect opportunity for shared moments and conversations. Wondering aloud with your children is an excellent way to keep the spirit of curiosity alive. When you begin to seek answers together as a family, children internalize the notion that learning is a lifelong pursuit. Lifelong learners develop habits of heart and mind that transcend time and act as a means for digging deeper, solving problems, relating with others, and fulfilling their potential.
My kids may be grown and I may no longer work in a classroom, but my passion to nurture curiosity as the cornerstone to unleashing a child’s potential remains. As the trend leans more and more toward the standardization of education, it is up to parents to nurture creativity and other important dispositions that lend themselves to lifelong learning. By nurturing our children so they can reach their fullest potential and be successful in an ever-changing world is more important than ever. I truly believe that the greatest gift we can give a child is the ability and desire to learn as they face new situations and challenges at every age. And I’d like to be a part of that—through my picture books.
Matthew Winner, an elementary school teacher librarian in Elkridge MD, expressed it rather perfectly in the Pre-PiBo Day 1 kick-off article: “To young readers, a picture book is a mirror. Readers see themselves and the people they know in the characters and situations that inhabit the story. In this way, readers expand their experiences by reading about things they may never encounter in their actual lives. They explore worlds they’ll never set foot on. They experience perspectives that build empathy for things they haven’t actually been through. They meet people who help them understand themselves better, and, more often than not, these people are complete works of fiction. It’s important that children of all ages are exposed to these diverse experiences so that they, in turn, can become better grown-up people.”