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