Monday, August 27, 2012

Quotes to Guide Our Path

Week of August 26, 2012—A Canon of Picture Books
Monday, August 27—Quotes to Guide Our Path

A canon of children’s picture books—the thought is so huge I have difficulty putting my brain around it. As I often do when I’m interested in a subject, or overwhelmed by its complexity, I turned to quotes from others to help guide my path. I’ve been reading lots of quotes about the importance of literature, the value of reading, the need for books, and so on. I’ve compiled a list of some of the more powerful quotes I found hoping that they would guide my path as I begin to develop my canon of picture books. I hope you find inspiration in these quotes as well.

Good children's literature appeals not only to the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.

All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality—the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape.
—Arthur Christopher Benson

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.
—Emilie Buchwald

There is no substitute for books in the life of a child.
—Mary Ellen Chase

So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
—Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.
—Frederick Douglass

The only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.
—E.M. Forster

The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won, than by the stories it loves and believes in.
—Harold Goddard (The Meaning of Shakespeare)

You must write for children the same way you write for adults, only better.
—Maxim Gorky

Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books.
—Bell Hooks

Words should be weighed, not counted.
Jewish folk saying

We read to know we are not alone.
—C.S. Lewis

I believe that good questions are more important than answers, and the best children’s books ask questions, and make the readers ask questions. And every new question is going to disturb someone's universe.
—Madeleine L’Engle

The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I [haven’t] read.
—Abraham Lincoln

I don’t want to write for adults. I want to write for readers who can perform miracles. Only children perform miracles when they read.
—Astrid Lindgren

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.
—Jacqueline Kennedy

In every generation, children’s books mirror the society from which they arise; children always get the books their parents deserve.
—Leonard S. Marcus

When it comes to telling children stories, they don’t need simple language. They need beautiful language.
—Philip Pullman

‘Thou shalt not’ is soon forgotten, but ‘Once upon a time’ lasts forever.”
—Philip Pullman

Reading takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.
—Hazel Rochman

Story is the vehicle we use to make sense of our lives in a world that often defies logic.
—Jim Trelease

Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.
—Harry S Truman

The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can’t.
—Mark Twain

For you (and me) to do:
RAs you read through these quotes, make mental or physical notes of the criterion for developing a canon of picture books that become evident to you.

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