Picture Book Month is over. And what a phenomenal month it was. Kids from preschoolers to the chapter-book crowd discovered (or rediscovered) the delights of this literary form. Classes visiting were introduced to some of my favorites, and then the tables were turned: students were asked to vote for the picture book they like best. From stories with beautiful messages like The Library Lion by Michelle Knudson, to the entertaining Seven Hungry Babies by Candace Fleming (a book that begs for audience participation), to Jeanette Winter’s inspiring Biblioburro: a True Story from Colombia, to the magnificently illustrated The King’s Equal by Katherine Paterson (not technically a picture book, but the art work is phenomenal), children of all ages–including the grown-up variety–were wowed as they traveled through the picture-book universe. It is my hope and belief that each of us came through the journey richer and more appreciative of this type of literature, one that will never go out of style. For there is nothing like cuddling up with a little person and sharing Pobble’s Way by Simon Van Booy, or watching a young reader enjoy the critter’s antics in Jackie French’s Diary of a Wombat.
“You may have tangible wealth untold.
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be –
I had a mother who read to me.”
— Strickland Gillilan