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
There is no substitute for books in the life of a child.
—Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
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.
Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books.
Words should be weighed, not counted.
—Jewish folk saying
We read to know we are not alone.
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.
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.
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.
‘Thou shalt not’ is soon forgotten, but ‘Once upon a time’ lasts forever.”
Reading takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.
Story is the vehicle we use to make sense of our lives in a world that often defies logic.
Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.
—Harry S Truman
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.