Monday, December 6, 2010

What's going to happen to picture books?

Don't know if y'all saw this last month. It's a New York Times article on just how unpopular picture books are these days. Here's the link, head over and read it and come back: New York Times


This was taken from the article. “So many of them just die a sad little death, and we never see them again,” said Terri Schmitz, the owner.SAY HUH? No one buys picture books for their little ones anymore? What are they buying them to read? The New York Times?

I know they are expensive to produce, but what will the little tykes do without them? How will they nurture their love of the written word? The words and the pictures in picture books produce wonderful images in the heads of little boys and girls. But instead of reading their children a precious picture book, the parents let them fill their time digitally?

What say you on this very important topic? If you have little ones, are you concerned about this?

I read picture books, because I write them. I love reading them. My kids always loved them. This news saddens me.

20 comments:

  1. This idea that picture books take reading maturation away from children is a silly goose idea.

    Children see the world as pictures before they speak words. As you mentioned, a child's imagination creates a story from pictures.

    Education is set up in grades, basic 1 through 12. A foundation, layer upon layer, line upon line, precept upon precept. On the way to reading, picture books entice and tickle the imagination to create or enhance a story, in time children's books have less pictures and more words.

    A child moves from grade to grade and the word material for learning increases. Enlarging their vocabulary and cognitive skills. In my opinion, a child looking at picture books will not alter their ability to read.

    What I do see, is children four years old spending hours on the computer playing games. While some of these are educational, they are not books.

    Additionally, I do believe the economy plays a big part in the sale of any book.

    I still like picture books. I still like fairy tales. I still like pictures in books with lots of words.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love reading them too...and suspect, like other books, they will show up digitally, pictures included. Not the same as turning the pages, I know, but what can we do?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I found that article confusing because, as a writer of adult fiction, I always heard that the adult fiction market was a nightmare but the kids books were keeping the publishing houses alive. So this article was contradictory to everything I've been hearing for years! I think parents will continue to buy their children picture books. I know I will. The feeling you get from a picture book can't be matched with any other medium. Even an e-picture book or something. I think they will stay alive forever, perhaps the publishing houses will just be more particular about how many and which ones they publish.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my gosh! I'll have to read the article when I get home, but, WHAT?!!!

    I work in childcare and we use picture books all the time!

    I think lots of people buy books based on tv shows/cartoons, which is fine. But they need picture books!

    I'm stunned....thanks for the head's up.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, no! That is the worst thing ever to print in the New York Times. People actually believe what they see in newspapers! I don't believe it. Maybe they are not selling as well right now as in the past, but I do not (and will not) believe they are dying. Teachers across the nation, and many many parents, still collect and share PBs like crazy. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think that picture books are still going strong--a lot of children read them, no matter why the NYT says.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's crazy! There's nothing better than a good picture book.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, dear! I LOVE picture books!
    We've gotta band together, y'all, and change those stats!
    Blessings,
    Patti

    ReplyDelete
  9. Picture books were an important part of mine and every other childs education and I would be very sad to see them disappear.
    Hopefully the NYT's figures are wrong as some of the other poster's suggest!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm still the old fashioned mom who buys my kids and nieces a book every X-mas... I may be naive, but I think books are here to stay

    ReplyDelete
  11. I was at a writers conference where the publishers are looking into iphone apps for children books. They publish all their books digitally, but like heather said I always buy my kids a book for Christmas. It's tradition.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I haven't read the article but I always bought, and checked out from the library, picture books for my children. Beautiful illustrations have the ability to create a love for art and beauty in the world. I can only hope and pray that real books stay around!

    ReplyDelete
  13. NO!!!! Kids love to read and hold these books and being that I am a kid's writer this trend needs to turn around!!! :O)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I didn't read the article so I can't comment on that. I have seen several picture book sales on PM lately. And, I've got one I'm writing, too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Robyn, this news comes as a shock. I love picture books. I prefer to call my books illustrated books rather than picture books.

    Picture books are a wonderful way to introduce a child to the written word. This fuels the child's desire to read more books as he/she grows older.

    Will have to check out this article.

    ReplyDelete
  16. That's crazy!!! I bought a whole bunch for Emma! She loves flipping the pages! I love reading to her!!!

    This is surprising!

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is a rather distressing article. Not only have picture books have been a fixture in our home for my six year old to learn to read, but they've also ushered her into her new passion of drawing. She's taken inspiration from new books like Matthew Gollub's Jazz Fly 2. I hope that this is a temporary trend and not a sign of things to come.

    ReplyDelete
  18. WHAT?? This is just insane to me. My kids have bookshelves of picture books. I can't imagine life without them. Oh, the horror. Hi Robyn! It's been too long since I've been over this way. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I can't help but think this is all hype. All the parents I know buy picture books. My kids love them. Honestly. It feels like another 'this is the end of the book world' prediction. Dare I say that NYT doesn't know every thing?

    ReplyDelete

Leave me a note! :)