Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Words of Wisdom

"The successful completion of a picture book depends on the collaboration of many talents. However, when the books are printed and bound, the creative role passes to the people who are the closest to the children, and we depend upon them to share the books with care, enthusiasm, and love. Until a picture book is looked at and read, it remains a darkened theater. The theater is illuminated when an adult opens the book with a child, and, as the pages turn, the curtain rises on successive acts and scenes. Through the reading and sharing, the words pulsate with life, and the illustrations move and glow with action, feeling, and vitality. Of course, each book must stand on its own merit and earn applause and approval from whomever experiences it. But if a teacher, librarian, or parent brings the child and the book together with a sensitive understanding of that individual child and with an enthusiasm for that particular book, it makes an enormous difference in the quality of the book’s reception. When caring adults recommend and share and read the book aloud as if they were a part of its creative life—as if they were presenting it as a treasured gift—then that book has a much greater chance of being special to the child with whom it is shared, and the adult reader will be remembered as being part of that book, and part of that gift, as surely as if his or her name was engraved on the jacket and title page –as a colleague, a co-conspirator, a creative partner."
Steven Kellogg in Children’s Books and Their Creators edited by Anita Silvey 

Check out Steven Kellogg's episode and illustration for the Library of Congress' and NCBLA's national reading and writing outreach project---- The Exquisite Corpse Adventure at