Why Picture Books Are Important by Toni Buzzeo
As a children’s librarian, I have long been devoted to the creative art form that is the picture book. I loved them as a child — Snip, Snap, and Snur and Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka especially — and I loved them when I returned to work in the children’s room as I resumed my lifelong romance with libraries. In fact, that love started me on the path to becoming a librarian myself. All the more did I love them when, reining as Library Goddess in my own library, I could drop everything I was doing as a troop of six year olds marched past my desk with a picture book in hand. I’d host an impromptu reading, complete with character voices and sound effects (no quiet libraries for me!).
What I know for sure is that the picture book is as perfect as a miniature spider web, a short story woven with characters to love, a distinct and delicious setting, and a problem to work out (a plot!). And it’s all created with the fewest words possible and the most exquisitely matched art. Even now that I’ve published fourteen picture books myself, I still gasp at the wonder of a newly discovered bit of bound perfection in the form of a picture book—and insist on reading it aloud to anyone who will listen, complete with character voices and sound effects!
About Toni Buzzeo
Toni Buzzeo is the award-winning author of fourteen picture books with five more forthcoming. For sixteen years, she worked as a school librarian honing her knowledge of children’s literature. Combining this knowledge with her love of children, Toni writes about characters of all stripes (including dinosaurs, loons, ducklings, children, teachers, and librarians) who explore their worlds, their relationships, and themselves in a variety of settings. Toni is well known for her lively spirit and sense of humor.