The Value of Children’s Picture Books

picture booksThere are children’s picture books and children’s picture books, but the ones that seem to last through generations of children are those that tickle the funny bone while warming the heart.

Those that I remember from my childhood mostly fall from the pen of Dr. Seuss. What a genius! The subtlety in his line work is truly brilliant as are the story lines of his books. They might seem old-fashioned today, but old-fashioned in a good way. His messages were about simple kindness and responsibility. As he has said, he never really tried to include a message in his books; those messages just showed up. This is probably true of most children’s books.

Recently, in a visit from a friend from France, I learned of the importance of the early years of childhood and even the prenatal period and its effect on a child’s development. What that child is “fed” in the form nourishment and environment influences is significant. Mothers, fathers, and caregivers need to be cognizant of this fact and must surround and provide a child with all that is good. This includes not only nutrients, but words and feelings that are warm and positive.

Children’s picture books can play a role in this area as well. Happy, bright, colorful books with sweet, uplifting themes and images plant good ideas and good feelings in young children. We need happy, healthy, strong children to help create a happier, healthier, and stronger world.