Picture Books Are Not Just For Kids! Some history and perspective...

Did you know that Maurice Sendak refused to be identified as a children’s author? Maybe because, like us, Sendak believed that the readers of children’s books should not be confined to a certain age. Picture books are, in fact, relevant at all ages of life. At LᐧMᐧNᐧOᐧPlay! we take our picture books seriously. In fact, we will never chose a book for one of our lessons unless we truly love it. This is because we believe that the greatest picture books are truly an art form to be appreciated and treasured. We challenge you to think of the task of the author who must conceive of a story that is fresh and yet universal, that speaks to a child’s deepest longings and yet is playful enough to be accessible to even the youngest audience. The picture book author must love experimenting with language and form and style. She or he must be able to enter (or return) to the world of the child in all its purity and genius. She or he must be able to write with brevity and precision eliminating everything except that which is of utmost necessity to the plot and character. Finally, the author must trust in and work with the illustrator who completes the words on the page with images that transport the young reader in a way that no other medium can. To learn more about the history of the picture book and some of the great picture book writers of all time we suggest this illuminating article from the Atlantic. Even better, grab one of your children’s books or visit a children’s bookstore and see what speaks to your heart. The best picture books are for all of us. LᐧMᐧNᐧOᐧPlay! invites you to reclaim a love of picture books in your adult life. Enjoy!

Annie Dycus