Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Appreciating picture books... and why adults should read them

As an adult without regular access to young children, I don't tend to read many picture books, even though I appreciate the amount of work that goes into them and the amazing talent of our authors and illustrators.

But over the past couple of years I've acquired several very different picture books which I have not only enjoyed, but which have stayed with me. No doubt many of you will have read them too, but I thought they were worth a reminder.

One Small Island by Alison Lester and Coral Tulloch details the history, environment, nature, issues and solutions for Macquarie Island and is complemented by a huge variety of factual and interesting illustrations. I learned so much.

Anne Morgan's book The Sky Dreamer deals with childhood loss in a sensitive and caring  way and Celine Eimann's illustrations enhance the ethereal quality of the story. Children or adults suffering from grief would benefit from reading this moving story. And for someone who has been learning French for several years, I appreciated the French translation as well. 

Wilbur, written by Phil Cummings and illustrated beautifully by Amanda Graham, is a very simple rhyming story about a little dog. But it is unique, because the text is provided in several different languages in each printing. My version is written in English, Dinka, Hindi, Khmer and Nuer - what a resource for adults to use with their children.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore was written and illustrated by
American author, illustrator and film maker William Joyce and inspired his Academy Award winning short film. It’s a wonderful yet simple story about books and acceptance and the illustrations are, well, fantastic. I have read this book again and again.

Picture books may primarily be the domain of children, but I for one will continue to read and enjoy them as an adult!

Penny Garnsworthy

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