Let’s Make 2012 the Year of the Picture Book

Josie Leavitt -- September 2nd, 2011

Okay, I love picture books and I want them to be revered, but love is not necessarily enough for country-wide celebration. A year-and-a-half ago, Marie C. McHugh went to a NECBA meeting and had a great idea: The Year of the Picture Book. Why? because picture books seem to be continually under assault by mainstream articles that decry the death of the picture book. Kids don’t need them, they’re going to be replaced by new technology, etc. There is a place for picture books in the lives of all readers and the Year of the Picture Book was a great way to celebrate that.

We all loved the idea. People brainstormed partnership possibilities, we were enthused and then we all went back to our stores, got busy and lost our steam.  Now 2011 is effectively finished in terms of planning a year-long celebration. So, let’s not lose 2012 our year for feting the mighty picture. Here’s the problem-I’m not sure how we do it.

I can see working with publishers to help promote backlist treasures, public relations for the value of the picture and funding in some way that would give a book to every child in the country. I know this might sound crazy, but how satisfying would that be? Bookstores could work together with libraries and schools to promote the value and fun of picture books. So, dear reader, here’s my question: How do you think we could pull The Year of the Picture Book? Share your ideas here and maybe we can make this happen.

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