The Importance of Picture Books

Every time you crack open a picture book...

you never know what you're going to get and that’s why picture books are important. Because they are full of surprises and possibilities. Unlike chapter books and novels (even illustrated ones), picture books have more tools at their disposal. Can’t find the right words for that idea? Fine. Let’s do it visually. Need to control the pacing? Select just the right words. You can have a picture book with no words. You can have a picture book with no pictures. It can contain an elaborate fairytale or simply an alphabet. Every book is a surprise. What will the art be like? Will you like the story? What happens next?

There are so many ways for young readers to engage with

  • a fresh story
  • a new format
  • innovative art techniques
  • inventive language
  • visual style
  • physicality - size, texture, the scent of glue from the binding, the look and feel of the cover

Picture books are about togetherness

Picture books display always two pages at once, and in that two-page spread, there’s space for two readers, and in many cases, for two languages: the inner and the outer. There’s ample space to hold this metaphorical bilingualism and everything it entails

  • two perspectives
  • the two sides of one's personality
  • the stories one can share with the other
  • the brokering of the inner and the outer. But is that why picture books are “important”?

Simply put, picture books bring us together. Whether in classroom circles, on library floors, in rocking chairs, or tucked into bed we are together through the simple act of turning pages and entering the picture book world together. Our brains and hearts and bodies are together in something that we can literally put our finger on. We create a shared experience that is safe, and fun, and warm.

But is that why picture books are important?

The answer may very well be the stories that engage, pictures that demand a second-look, and words that beg to be read aloud. Or better yet, the ability to open up the world of books and reading to a kid who might need an escape. Equally likely, the importance may rely in creating those moments of laughter, joy, sorrow, wonder, and contemplation in a way that only picture books are able to do by treating us to the flavor of emotions, transporting us out of reality to somewhere special.

Friendly book suggestion:

  • Following in the footsteps of the best picture books, Here Comes Ingo gives us a break from algorithm-tracking and from screens and devices. Whether you are age 4 or 104, whether you are alone or sharing with others, this unique picture book will satisfy your hunger for stories and help nurture your imagination by encouraging you to write, draw, doodle, and paint ON the page thus creating choices for children to build pride and confidence in themselves while we connect with them, when we put the book down and talk about how it made each of us feel. Together.

Here Comes Ingo Get your copy of one of the most creative children's books of the year here!