Why Picture Books Are Important by Robert Quackenbush

by Dianne on November 24, 2013

Robert Quackenbush book cover

Picture books are important because to me they are forever. My earliest memory of a picture book was my mother reading Denslow’s Night Before Christmas to my brother and me one Christmas Eve. The book had been my mother’s when she was a little girl. Denslow’s bold, woodcut-like illustrations were a tremendous influence on my becoming an artist and illustrator of picture books. After I became established in the field, I found a way to share with children, through my contacts with publishers, my mother’s copy of Denslow’s Night Before Christmas, which I discovered was a rare edition. It was republished from the tattered and worn copy she gave to me when I graduated from art college. This is one example of why I say picture books are forever.

Another reason I say picture books are forever is how they help children to learn to read and love books. I saw this happen with my son when he was a child and I see it happening with children during my travels to schools, libraries, and after school programs as an advocate for literacy.

I have written and illustrated many picture books for children. I receive letters from children asking about the picture book characters I have created such as Henry the Duck, Detective Mole, and Miss Mallard, or a call in the middle of the night from a frantic father saying, “My little girl won’t go to sleep until she says goodnight to Henry!” Recently, I received a letter from a mother in Houston, Texas telling me how one of my picture books about a little rabbit named Lucy had such an “impact” on her life that when she grew up and married and her little girl was born, she named her Lucy. Yes, Lucy, picture books are forever!

Robert Quackenbush headshot - photo credit Geert Snoeijer

About Robert Quackenbush
Author/Artist/Educator Robert Quackenbush has written and illustrated over 200 books for young readers. His picture books have won many awards including an Edgar Allen Poe Special Award for Best Juvenile Mystery and a gold medal from the Holland Society of New York for distinction in art and literature. His art is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, and Norton Simon Museum. Visit his website at www.rquackenbush.com.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne Roberts November 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Thank-you for all your wonderful books. I feel what you are saying. This post made me cry.

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Creations By Mit November 25, 2013 at 9:45 am

Fabulous post! Indeed, they are forever!

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