Why Picture Books Are Important by Joyce Wan

by Dianne on November 29, 2012

Why Picture Books Are Important by Joyce Wan
When I was young, my mom could not speak English but she took me to the library every week without fail. Although she was unable to read to me, picture books enabled us to enjoy the pictures and make up stories together. This would end up being one of her greatest gifts to me—the gift of imagination and creativity ignited by picture books.

As I learned to read, the combination of words and pictures completely immersed me into new worlds. Growing up in rough inner-city housing projects, picture books provided me with a safe refuge and possibilities of adventure, beauty, wonder, and humor. It was a doorway to the richness of the world and gave me hope and inspiration. It was where imagination bloomed and anything was possible. It is this spirit that I attribute all my successes to and which guides me in everything I do to this day.

Picture books empower the underprivileged and give hope to the voiceless. They have the power to capture your heart and transform your soul. They are the first interaction we have with books and that initial connection creates a ripple effect that lasts a lifetime and for generations to come.

Joyce Wan

About Joyce Wan
Joyce is the author and illustrator of Greetings from Kiwi and Pear (Blue Apple Books, 2009), You Are My Cupcake (Cartwheel Books, 2011), We Belong Together (Cartwheel Books, 2011) and has six more books underway. We Belong Together was 1 of 150 books nationwide to be featured in the Society of Illustrators 2011 Original Art Show, an exhibit that showcases the year’s best children’s books. She also owns a stationery and gift company called Wanart, and teaches courses on greeting card design and art licensing at New York’s School of Visual Arts helping others pursue their creative passions. Through all her work, Joyce hopes to inspire people to embrace the spirit of childhood and follow their dreams. Visit Joyce online at wanart.com

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth Rose Stanton November 29, 2012 at 9:55 am

Thank you for this inspiring post. What a wise, good mother you have! Hooray for picture books!


Hazel Mitchell November 29, 2012 at 10:02 am

Love your way of thinking Joyce!


Laura Anne Miller November 29, 2012 at 11:52 am

Joyce your statement that ‘Picture books empower the underprivileged and give hope to the voiceless’ is beautiful. The image of you and your mom at the library, surrounded by books your mother couldn’t read but still communicated with her heart is a poignant one. Thank you for sharing.


Joyce Wan November 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Thanks Laura. I really wanted to bring to light just how important picture books are for the parents who can’t read to their children and for the children who don’t have a parent to read to them. I’m happy I could share my personal experience here. xo


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