Just a year after the New York Times declared, "Picture Books No Longer A Staple for Children" a new celebration has been born, Picture Book Month! Storyteller Dianne de Las Casas decided it was time to celebrate picture books in their printed format so she created an initiative to designate November as Picture Book Month. "Picture books celebrate childhood. They speak universal truths and help children better understand the world around them", de Las Casas explains. "Some picture books are so magical, they define childhood. They become a marker or a milestone in a child's life."
Fellow picture book advocates Katie Davis, Elizabeth Dulemba, Tara Lazar, and Wendy Martin came to her aid to spread the word. The twittersphere quickly latched onto the celebration with the creation of the #picturebookmonth hashtag and a Twibbon to support the month.
A website was created to feature essays from "Picture Book Champions," thought leaders in the children's literature community. Each day in November, a new essay will be posted from such notable contributors as Suzanne Bloom, Denise Fleming, Leslie Helakoski, Eric A. Kimmel, Tammi Sauer, Dan Yaccarino, and Jane Yolen.
In her essay that is set to be posted on the website, Yolen says:
I have always believed that literature begins in the cradle -- the poems we say to the babies, the stories we tell them -- prepare them to become part of the great human storytelling community. We humans are the only creatures in the known universe who make and remake our world with story.
Follow Rocco Staino on Twitter: www.twitter.com/roccoa