“Picture books are for everybody at any age, not books to be left behind as we grow older. The best ones leave a tantalizing gap between the pictures and the words, a gap that is filled by the reader’s imagination, adding so much to the excitement of reading a book.” —Anthony Browne, UK Children’s Laureate, 2009-2011
Isn’t it great, we are never too old to enjoy a picture book! Especially in this digital age where naysayers are predicting the impending death of print books. But they’re wrong, especially where picture books are concerned. Picture books (the print kind) have so much to offer, they deserve to be celebrated and shared. And the world needs picture books! There’s nothing like the physical page turn of a beautifully crafted picture book.
I invite you to join me in celebrating Picture Book Month, an international literacy initiative that celebrates print picture books during the month of November. Every day in November, you can enjoy a new post from a picture book champion explaining why he/she thinks picture books are important. And hopefully, you will share these daily articles across your favorite social channels so that your friends and family can join the celebration too.
Jerry Pinkney, one of the most heralded children’s book illustrators of all time, beautifully explains why picture books are important. “The picture book is often a child’s first experience of looking at and reading art. Children learn to read pictures before they learn to sound out words or read full sentences, and for the very young, the partnership between pictures and text helps them take in and find pleasure in a narrative. It also stimulates a child’s desire to read words, and in this way, deciphering and understanding art becomes a small victory on the path to becoming a reader. Given a child’s active imagination and inclination to dream, picture books support young readers’ own natural abilities. But these visual journeys also allow children to travel to places and meet people their imaginations could not get to otherwise; the characters and destinations that readers encounter help shape a sense of empathy for the unfamiliar and inspire comfort when a child can see that they are not alone.”
Thank you Jerry, I couldn’t have said it better myself. And now, I’ll leave you with a fun little video by Katie Davis, sharing quotes from beloved and famous authors and illustrators all answering the same question, “What is a picture book?”
For the month of November, show your support for Picture Book Month by adding a Twibbon to your Twitter or Facebook profile picture today!