Why Picture Books Are Important by Katie Davis

by Dianne on November 9, 2011

Little Chicken

Why Picture Books Are Important
I have a sixteen-year-old niece, Sarah. A year ago my sister-in-law, her mom, died suddenly. A friend of the family gave my brother a picture book called Tear Soup to help with Sarah’s mourning.

One night, he walked into her room with the book under his arm. She took one look at him, rolled her eyes, and said, “Yeah, right. You’re going to read THAT to ME?”

“Yes,” he said. “Move over.”

She argued – what teen girl wouldn’t? – but grudgingly made room. They cuddled up and read the book. A couple of days later, Sarah asked, “Dad, whatever happened to all my picture books from when I was little?” My brother pulled a box out of storage and the next night came in with Caps for Sale.

A new tradition was born. For months, every night, he’d read a picture book to her from her childhood.

Picture books heal. No matter your age.

-Katie Davis

Katie Davis

About Katie Davis
Children’s author/illustrator Katie Davis has published nine books and appears monthly on the ABC affiliate show, Good Morning Connecticut, recommending great books for kids. She produces Brain Burps About Books, a podcast about kidlit, a blog and monthly newsletter. Katie has volunteered in a maximum-security prison teaching Writing for Children and over the last dozen years has presented at schools and writing conferences. She was a 2010 Cybils judge and has also judged the Golden Kite, smartwriters.com, and Frontiers in Writing awards. Recently Katie was selected to be on the Honorary Advisory Board for the Brooke Jackman Foundation, a literacy-based charity.

Purchase Little Chicken’s Big Day by Jerry and Katie Davis at Better World Books, a Picture Book Month partner. You are “doing good” with every book you buy at Better World Books.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanna November 9, 2011 at 4:21 am

Katie, thank for sharing this wonderful story and how I agree with you about the healing power of picture books. Actually, I know a wonderful website committed to this philosophy – http://www.childrensbooksheal.com


Marc Tyler Nobleman November 9, 2011 at 9:00 am

Katie, compelling and heartbreaking. Not only an eloquent testament to the power of picture books but also to family love.


Katie Davis November 9, 2011 at 9:57 am

Thank you, Joanna. That site is intriguing! And so amazing that it’s right in line with my essay.


Ann Stampler November 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm

What a lovely, heart-breaking post. My condolences.


Patricia Tilton November 9, 2011 at 3:07 pm

A beautiful story Katie. Gave me goose bumps! Couldn’t agree with you more. It reminded me of the movie Blindside, when the teens gather around the door to listen to a favorite childhood book, Ferdinand the Bull. 🙂


Julie Hedlund November 9, 2011 at 10:01 pm

What a beautiful and touching story. I know if I haven’t outgrown picture books at 40, my kids probably never will either. That’s my fervent hope anyway.


Eric Van Raepenbusch November 9, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Thank you for this story.


Sarah Lamstein November 10, 2011 at 7:42 am

Lovely, Katie.


Judy Cox November 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.


Lynda Shoup November 13, 2011 at 7:48 pm

What a powerful reminder of the healing power of picture books. Thank you for sharing your story.


Elizabeth Dulemba November 14, 2011 at 4:41 pm

What a touching story. They can heal indeed. e


Sarah Frances Hardy November 15, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Such a beautiful story, and so true.


Anna Grossnickle Hines November 18, 2011 at 8:04 pm

What a touching and inspiring story…what a wise and loving parent.


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