I meant to post this November 1st, but time slipped away. Not only do I believe in sharing picture books, I believe in the group huddle around the librarians chair for storytime. I’ve used the Elmo and other document cameras to project the story, but the effect is not the same as caressing the pages and slowly swiveling the book to little bodies poised for each picture. I prefer cuddling close when reading. I believe students need this close proximity to story. How do you feel?
“I have always believed that literature begins in the cradle — the poems we say to the babies, the stories we tell them — prepare them to become part of the great human storytelling community. We humans are the only creatures in the known universe who make and remake our world with story.”* – Jane Yolen from her Picture Book Month essay
The New York Times declared, “Picture Books No Longer A Staple for Children” in an article published in October 2010. The controversial article incited a barrage of responses from the children’s book industry, many in defense of the venerable picture book. In addition, the digital age has ushered in an unprecedented amount of ebooks and, with devices like the iPad, the color Nook, and the Kindle Fire, picture books are being converted to the digital format.
Thus, Picture Book Month was born. Founder Dianne de Las Casas decided it was time to celebrate picture books in their printed format so she created an initiative to designate November as “Picture Book Month.” Katie Davis, Elizabeth Dulemba, Tara Lazar, and Wendy Martin came on board to champion the cause and spread the word. A logo was designed by Joyce Wan. A website (www.picturebookmonth.com) was created to feature essays from “Picture Book Champions,” thought leaders in the children’s literature community. Each day in November, a new essay will be posted from such notable contributors as Suzanne Bloom, Peter Brown, Jarrett Krosoczka, Leslie Helakoski, Eric A. Kimmel, Tammi Sauer, Dan Yaccarino, and Jane Yolen.
Better World Books and organizations like Scholastic Book Fairs Philippines are lending their support. The website will also feature links to picture book resources,authors, illustrators, and kidlit book bloggers. In addition, parents, educators, and librarians can download the theme calendar to help them plan their picture book celebrations and access picture book activities.
Join the celebration! Visit www.picturebookmonth.com. The website officially opens on November 1, 2011.
*“Picture books are important because they are with us for life. They are the most important books we’ll ever read because they’re our first. No matter how many books we’ve read since, they will always have a place in our hearts.”* – Dan Yaccarino from his Picture Book Month Essay.
*Read ***** Share *** **Celebrate!*