We have been asking children’s writers, illustrators, lecturers and journalists:
‘Are picture books for children, or adults can enjoy them just as much?’
Below you will find more answers:
It is one of my life’s missions to convince adults (and older children) of the pleasures that they miss if they do not read children’s picture books. So many adults stop after their children grow up and they no longer share stories with younger ones. But there is no need to stop. Just keep browsing in the picture book section of bookshops and libraries to encounter new writers and illustrators as well as re-read the old and loved favourites. The kind of reading that happens, the visual literacy, the remembering to do close looking, the emotional engagement – you can’t beat it. I teach one undergraduate course on children’s literature to Education Studies students largely through picture books, and the sheer joy of their discovery and re-discovery of the books, and the pleasure of learning new ways to think about picture books is one of the great aspects of the course.
*Pam Dix is the chair of IBBY UK.
‘Picture books are most definitely not just for children; adults can certainly appreciate them as much and in some cases, possibly even more. I’m passionate about picture books, not only for what they offer children right from when they are babies, but also for the riches they hold for us adults.
A good quality picture book is multi-layered and can be read many times with new meanings emerging from each read. I find myself having fresh insights from many of the picture books I reread when I come back after setting them aside for some time. (Although I realise that what I’m bringing to a particular book at a particular time will likely be different too.)
Some of the very best picture book illustrators are among the very best artists of today and in addition to the intrinsic aesthetic quality, their work opens up and explores a whole range of aspects of life, some of which are highly controversial.
I certainly would not be the teacher, or indeed the person I am now without picture books. I’ve shared and enthused about them with people of all ages from early years to students in university and teachers on in-service courses. The best resource a teacher can have is quality picture books; but there is a fine line between using and abusing books in schools. Sharing books with the very young is one of the greatest gifts an adult can give to a child, but only if the adult finds the experience pleasurable too.’
Picture books are for sharing. They present opportunities to enjoy playful, rhythmic language patterns and derive pleasure from pouring over picture. The best inform and inspire young minds and charm or touch a nerve with adults. Picture books that are fun to share again and again become firm favourites that stay etched on our minds forever.
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- read Jackie Morris’s answer here.
- Read Vivian French’s answer here.
- Read SF Said’s answer here
- Read Emily Drabble’s answer here.
- Read Pippa Goodhart’s answer here.
- Read Nicolette Jones’s answer here
- Read John Shelley’s answer here
- Read Bridget Marzo’s answer: here
- Read Zoe Toft’s answer: here
- Read Ehsan Abdollahi’s answer: here
- Read Celestine and the Hare’s answer here.
- Read Frank Cattrell-Boyce’s answer here.
- Read Emmi Smid’s answer here.
- Read Tamsin Rosewell’s answer here
- Read Anahita Teymorian’s answer here
- Read Azita Rassi’s answer here
- Read Jessica Shepherd’s answer here