Home > Children, Education, Parenting, Reading > Where the Door Busting Sales Aren’t

Where the Door Busting Sales Aren’t

Here is something you will not see next Friday morning: a door-buster sale on children’s picture books.  Why? Because interest in these books—even your awesome childhood favorites, like those of Seuss, Silverstein and Sendak—can’t seem to compete In a world of Kindles and Ipads.  Without Borders in Silver Spring, finding great children’s books is becoming nearly impossible.  Even the publishing giant Scholastic is releasing 10% fewer new titles each year. And the Barnes and Noble in Bethesda has wrapped its children’s book area with a toy department.

What a loss for children!  Picture books have been proven to build early literacy through their combination of pictures and text. These books have more sophisticated vocabulary than children’s chapter books. And they encourage parent-child reading time better than anything on a computer screen.

A New York Times article by Julie Bosman from last October lamented the decline. According to Bosman, “Literacy experts are quick to say that picture books are not for dummies. Publishers praise the picture book for the particular way it can develop a child’s critical thinking skills.”

The article continues, “’To some degree, picture books force an analog way of thinking,” said Karen Lotz, the publisher of Candlewick Press in Somerville, Mass. “From picture to picture, as the reader interacts with the book, their imagination is filling in the missing themes.’”

All is not lost. If you are inclined to bust a bookstore door next week or even order online, you may be able to find some of my all time favorites, still in print. And maybe yours, too.  Please share: let me know your favorite picture book titles in the comment box. Here are mine:

Milo’s Hat Trick, Jon Agee

The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau, Jon Agee

Miss Nelson Is Missing! Harry Allard and James Marshall

Strega Nona,  Tomie dePaola

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, William Steig

Brave Irene, William Steig

Doctor DeSoto, William Steig

King Bidgood’s In the Bathtub, Audrey and Don Wood

Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China, Ed Young

Rapunzel, Paul O. Zelenski

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  1. November 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    I loved Peter Spier’s books, especially Rain. Very few of his books are still in print though. Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey is beautiful as well.

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