Reading Starts Here with Candlewick Press's New Website Dedicated to the Love of Picture Books

Almost two years ago, Julie Bosman wrote an article that appeared on the front page of the New York Times titled Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children. I took issue with her reporting and interpretation of statistics and wrote this piece Picture Books: A Dying Breed or Just Misunderstood? in which I shared my picture book experiences as a bookseller and mother and asked my readers to share theirs as well and a great dialogue followed. Picture book authors also spoke out after this article appeared. A  Proclamation! created and signed by an impressive roster of picture book authors and illustrators proved to be a fantastic manifesto. Next, picture book author and illustrator Matthew Cordell sent out a Challenge! asking readers to "reawaken your love of picture books" and go to a BOOKSTORE and spend some time in the children's section and "find something incredible (it ain't hard.)"

Now, Candlewick Press, a publisher of consistently high quality picture books (as a bookseller and story time reader, Candlewick was one of the first publishers I took note of, long before I had a blog, and made a point of seeking out their titles because of their incomparable quality), from story to illustration to design and production values, is spearheading this movement with the launch - TODAY - of a website called Reading Starts Here. As a way of honoring the importance of picture books, Candlewick will feature a year long video celebration of picture books at this website. Candlewick will share 365 videos about picture books – a new one each day – from their authors, illustrators, staff, family, and friends. The videos will be short, engaging, informal, and personal as each contributor shares what picture books mean to them, recommends favorite stories, and more. Here is a bit more information about the campaign and this wonderful publishing house, in their own words:

About We Believe in Picture Books

Picture books — lovingly and collaboratively produced — go to the heart of who Candlewick Press is as a company, and we remain as committed to creating the best possible picture books today as we were when we first started, twenty years ago. To coincide with our twentieth anniversary, Candlewick has launched a yearlong We Believe in Picture Books initiative, celebrating in September 2012 and beyond.
Candlewick Press, which celebrates its twentieth anniversary in 2012, is an independent, employee-owned publisher based in Somerville, Massachusetts. Candlewick publishes outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages, including books by award-winning authors and illustrators such as M. T. Anderson, Kate DiCamillo, Laura AmySchlitz, and David Ezra Stein; the widely acclaimed Judy Moody, Mercy Watson, and 'Ology series; and favorites such as Guess How Much I Love You, Where's Waldo, and Maisy. Candlewick is part of the Walker Books Group, together with Walker Books UK in London and Walker Books Australia, based in Sydney and Auckland. Visit Candlewick online at Candlewick Press.

And, here are just a few of the fantastic picture books that Candlewick has published over the years (and that I have reviewed...)

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