Saturday, June 19, 2010

An Impassioned Plea for Picture Books

Even though my youngest daughter is 22 and I have no grandchildren, I love picture books, and yes, I still buy them. I was caught red-handed yesterday by an old teacher friend whom I ran into in the bookstore. She's been retired now for a good five years, and she was surprised to see me clutching an armful of picture books. I can't help it, I told her. I buy them for friends. I buy them for nieces and nephews. I buy them for neighborhood children. But mostly I buy them for myself, because I love them. I often donate them after I've enjoyed them for a little while: sometimes to the local Single Parents Association, sometimes to my local school, sometimes to the Women and Children's Shelter (when women and children flee, books are not among the possessions they are likely to grab). When I came across this story about Ken Geist from Scholastic making an impassioned case to booksellers to ensure that picture books don't disappear from the publishing landscape, I thought I'd better spread the word. It's a great article. I invite you to check it out, but I also invite you to buy a picture book for someone you love, someone you know, or a complete stranger who might find comfort, joy, or pleasure between it's covers. And just so you know, you don't have to be between the ages of 3 and 7 to enjoy a picture book. Hey...look at me.

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