I believe that it has NEVER been more important to produce good, quality children's literature. Never in the history of time have children been so pulled in so many different directions. Children are more scheduled than ever before. Children less free than ever before. Children are stressed and prone to addictive behavior with their access to cell phones, internet, video gaming systems, and personal electronics. Many young people go to sleep with ear buds in their ears and wake up with their cell phones in their hands.
When do they have time to think? To dream? To have an adventure? To just be?
Being still with time to think and pray and reflect and imagine and dream--it's not a luxury. It's an important part of life. We all have to learn how to take our own pulse. We have to learn how to interact and love the people around us. We must be able to function 'unplugged'.
So what does this have to do with books? Reading is a way to be still and give our brains a little respite from the world. Picture books are a way for parents to snuggle up to their children and share the gift of story, an interaction together, a discovery together, a shared experience. Picture books are tactile not just in the touching of the book, but in the touching of each other. Trust me when I tell you, a child in the back seat with an app does NOT have the same experience. Not that PB apps are bad. Not at all. But they're not a replacement. They're something different altogether.
I know many brilliant, talented and big-hearted people who are working hard to put quality books out in the market. Take a look, especially as you think about Christmas presents.
I especially appeal to those of you who have an 'Angel Tree' child for whom you are shopping. Don't forget to include a book. Chances are, that child doesn't have a book to call his or her own. Give him a wonderful book, worthy of re-reading, a book that has transformative power, as all the best books do.
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.