Thursday, August 27, 2009

Looking at Picture Books

The remarkable Karla Kuskin, poet, author, and illustrator, recently passed away. Roger Sutton remembers a piece she wrote for the Horn Book about reviewing picture books. I just looked at it and am printing it out to read more slowly. Even if you never review picture books yourself, I strongly encourage you to read this article. It will help clarify your thinking about evaluating the picture books you come across, whether that's on the new book shelf or for storytimes or for displays or whatever.

Karla says, "A PICTURE BOOK IS A COMPLICATED FORM OF COLLABORATIVE ART. When it is very well done, it is an artistic achievement worthy of respectful examination and honor. Even failures, and especially near misses, deserve the kind of attention and understanding given to serious creative endeavors."

1 comment:

Alyson said...

Interesting article. Not sure whether it just made me more appreciative of the picture books I look at or if I am wholly unqualified to judge them at all! Feeling kind of guilty for times I flipped through a book and thought "Oh that's cute!" or "I don't like this one that much."