Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


For any of you who read my post back in October 2010, IN PRAISE OF PICTURE BOOKS, you know about the New York Times front-page story, "Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children", which caused quite an uproar in the World of Children's Books - among publishers, bookstores, parents, authors, and illustrators.

I recently came across a rebuttal to this article printed in Publisher's Weekly that, I'm happy to say, explores some of the same points in defense of picture books that I did!  It's titled, "Don't Write the Orbit for Picture Books Yet" and you can read it by clicking here.

Karen Springen, the author of this well-researched article, makes many great points about what is influencing the sales of picture books, but I think two that she highlights are especially relevant:  the economy and libraries.

In a bad economy, families are still reading picture books—but many families are getting them at the library, and previewing them before deciding to purchase them. "Library use is up," said Julie Corsaro, president of the American Library Association's Association for Library Service to Children division. "And in many public libraries, picture books have the highest circulation." At the Brooklyn Public Library, picture book circulation is at an all-time high—1.5 million at the end of the most recent fiscal year. For the next fiscal year, BPL is projecting circulation of more than two million, said youth selection team leader Alison Hendon. She is buying new ones, too—both replacement copies and new titles...

But when the economy recovers, will picture books return to their heyday? It's hard to know for sure, but booksellers, publishers, and librarians maintain that traditional picture books are irreplaceable treasures. Oddi of Cover to Cover told the story of a young man who works for minimum wage at Jiffy Lube, next to her store. On break, he stopped in and, on a staffer's recommendation, bought Dog House by Jan Thomas to read to his three-year-old. He said it was $14 he didn't have and at first regretted it. Later, he returned to the store and said, "I read that book every night to my little girl. She laughs," said Oddi. "He said, ‘That's the best $14 I ever spent.' "

But we consumer parents, teachers, and literature lovers knew that, huh?

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