Why Picture Books Are Important by Peter H. Reynolds
We adults love to complicate things. Just look at most books for grownups. Most weigh a pound or two and are packed with hundreds of pages slowly making their way through thousands of words to make their point. Very often, the essence of the book is extracted and printed on the back of the book and the book flaps. The big idea is quickly plucked and savored.
The beauty of a picture book is that it quite quickly delivers its essence within a few minutes. Sometime with a few words sprinkled below big images -and sometimes wordlessly. Big ideas delivered simply and efficiently. Picture books do a lot of heavy lifting. They can tackle universal truths that adults wrestle with and try to explain, chapter upon chapter, and can reduce it all into two dozen pages or so. These big ideas are made more memorable to visual thinkers.
The other wonderful “secret power” of picture books is it is adults who buy them and read them first. While they fully intend on sharing them with their students, children, grandchildren, they must first absorb the story and its message. I often say that great children’s books are “wisdom dipped in words and art.” These bite-size bits of wisdom heal the reader, inspire the reader, and invite the reader to action. The reader is often an adult who in need of all three: healing, inspiration, and the reminder to make a difference.
About Peter H. Reynolds
Peter H. Reynolds, founder of The Dot Club, is an author and illustrator of many books about creativity, including The Dot, Ish, Sky Color, The North Star, (Candlewick Press) and his upcoming collaboration with Susan Verde on The Museum (Abrams). He has also collaborated with Judy Blume on the covers to the Fudge series, Amy Krouse Rosenthal on Plant A Kiss, Someday with Alison McGhee, and with Megan McDonald on the best-selling, Judy Moody series. With his twin brother, Paul, he founded FableVision Studios – a transmedia development studio specializing in positive stories to move the world to a better place. They also own a family bookshop called The Blue Bunny in their hometown of Dedham, MA. Peter has two children, Sarah and Henry Rocket. He is married to designer, Diana Gaikazova, whose gallery is across the street from the bookshop.