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Pickle Me This

June 7, 2012

Picture books are the most wild, innovative, untethered, experimental literary genre I know

From an excellent post by Laurel Snyder on the dangers of turning on to chapter books too soon:

“Picture books are the most wild, innovative, untethered, experimental literary genre I know.

The marriage of images and text is partly to blame for this, I think.  Something about the collaborative process too, perhaps—an artist and a writer challenging each other, with a common purpose but different modes. But I want to believe that the main reason picture books can be so different is that kids are so  different.

At the tender age when kids first encounter picture books they are open, accepting, free-thinking. A two year old doesn’t really expect anything when she picks up a book, and so a book for a two year old can be anything. Physical comedy.  Visual art.  A puzzle.  Books for kids can pop-up or scratch-and-sniff. They can be meta-fiction.  They can speak multiple languages or intertwine multiple distinct storylines.  There are almost no rules to picture books.  Kids scribble in them, build forts with them.  Picture books are experiential on every level you can imagine, and some you can’t.

They’re awesome.”

2 thoughts on “Picture books are the most wild, innovative, untethered, experimental literary genre I know”

  1. Great post. Picture books really are awesome, there so many high quality children’s picture book out there- books with amazing stories and fabulous images but sometimes you have to dig a little to find them.

  2. Sara says:

    Very nice! Long live the picture book!

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