Sunday, November 16, 2014
WHY PICTURE BOOKS ARE IMPORTANT
My first picture book, SNOW DOG SAND DOG, was featured on the November Book Month
Why Picture Books Are Important by Linda Joy Singleton
The first picture book I remember loving was The Poky Little Puppy. It was an early copy with gorgeous art and a thick colorful cover. Years later, as an adult, I spotted this book on my grandmother’s shelf and couldn’t resist reading it. There’s a special feeling children reserve for the books they fall in love with, and holding this book made me feel like a child again.
It wasn’t until I had children of my own that I pursued my writing career. I quickly realized I loved kids books the best. While I happily published midgrade and teen books, I also admired the picture books by my writing friends. I thought, “It would be so cool to have an artist draw pictures for my words.” And I dreamed of having a picture book of my own.
Still it took a while to write a picture book that was good enough to publish. Writing picture books is hard! Every word has to sing with meaning, plot, and character. All this is a super short format–usually less than 500 words. What a challenge!
But I thrive on challenges, and I never give up on my dreams. My first published picture book was about dogs—one for each season. I was lucky my publisher found an amazing illustrator who shared my love of books and dogs. And now I get to read my own picture book to kids. It’s SO fun! They laugh, smile and ask great questions. Kids really connect with the art in picture books and the art of telling a story just for them.
A picture book can transform a lap into a magical carpet that takes both reader and listener on an amazing journey. Words and pictures are like food for the soul, nourishing young minds and hearts. In my case, loving a picture book about a poky puppy was the beginning of a future of writing for kids—which is a wonderful honor.