Welcome to Elise Broach Week here at books4yourkids.com! Elise Broach is an author who has been dancing around the periphery of my kid's books world for a while now. I am thrilled to be able to post reviews of three of her outstanding books for you this week!
First up is her picture book, When Dinosaurs Came with Everything, illustrated by the exceptional David Small. Before I post that review, I'd like to give you a little personal and professional background on how I decide what I like in a picture book and, especially, what makes it worth buying for me.
I love picture books. I have my favorite picture books from my childhood. I bought picture books while I was in college. In addition to having read picture books out loud to one or more of my children for the last fifteen plus years on a daily basis, I read for the story time at the bookstore where I work three times a week. And I am shocked to say that I am running out of good books to read. Since my four year old is my third and last child, I have become more discretionary with my picture book purchases and I now buy only three or four hardcover picture books a year. I have read all of the picture books in my house, over 500 I'm sure, more than three times each, and I am always looking for new books to read and buy, but very few meet my standards. I do go to the library about once a week with my son and we always come home with a bag full of books and once in a while I'll find one I end up buying. But, mostly, the books are good for one reading and that's it. There are very few picture books that I don't mind reading over and over again.
And, here is a secret about chain bookstores: when a new book hits the shelves, it has three months or less to sell enough copies to keep it on the shelf. If it doesn't sell, it goes back to the publisher to make room for other, newer books coming out. I see at least ten to twenty new picture books a month. Rarely do I see them a year down the road and, even more rarely do I see them make it to paperback. I have a larger selection of picture books, hard cover and paperback, at home than the bookstore where I work has on the shelf. That makes me sad. Especially at story time. I end up reading the same handful of books over and over again because there aren't any new books I like and want to read out loud - occasionally I will let the kids pick the books and I'll read something I wouldn't normally like. Ok, I'm really picky, too. I'll admit that. But still, why are there so many poorly written, badly illustrated books out there???
So, this leads me to When Dinosaurs Came With Everything. This book is worth buying and reading over and over again!!! I hope you will seek it out if you have little ones at home after you read my review. You will find this book on the shelves of your local bookstore (and library) because it has staying power!