Today is bound to be a hectic, anxious day for many. Since November is Picture Book Month, let’s take a look at this 32-page miracle that may help ease the tension of this day. In case you don’t know about Picture Book Month, it is an international literacy celebration of the print picture book. It is a time to give picture books some love. November is perfect for this, as many of the year’s books have been published, and the Mock Caldecott blogs and lists have started to gear up. Admirers of the mighty picture book really start to appear.
I am an admitted picture book aficionado. When the new books arrive in boxes, I can barely wait for them to get sorted and onto carts. I have, however, learned to restrain myself. I leaf through the picture books. I smell them. I ooh and ahh. I’ve been known to hug a book I have been waiting for. And the thing is, I know I am not alone. I know there are those of you reading this who do the same. We love our picture books.
What is it about a stack of picture books that excites? Is it the anticipation of finding the perfect book for storytime? Is it the thrill of a new book by one of our favorite authors or illustrators? Is it the joy we know this book will bring to a child? Is it the thought that we may be holding the next Caldecott or Coretta Scott King or, here in Canada, the next Governor General award book in our hands? I posit that it is all of these, all of these and the fact that we are touching a thing of beauty, a piece of art that also happens to have a story embedded in the pages. And story keeps us real, makes our humanity shine. And some days, we need that little shard of humanity to keep us sane.
So if you are feeling a little anxious today, grab a picture book. Find one of your old favorites or pick up a new one from the shelf. Give it a hug. Read it. Feel better?