I asked the kidlit agents participating in PiBoIdMo as your “grand prizes” to tell us why they love picture books. Their answers are sure to inspire!
Heather Alexander, Pippin Properties
Picture books are easy to love because they are tiny little windows that offer beautiful glimpses out into the whole, wide, wonderful world, and into hearts like and unlike our own.
Stephen Fraser, Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
I do love picture books! There is nothing more satisfying than to find a picture book manuscript which has been carefully crafted to share a story with the youngest readers. The Impressionist painter Pierre Auguste Renoir said that painting is “making love visible” and I can’t help thinking that is why some picture books are so endearing and everlasting. They make the love we feel for our children, our grandchildren, and the children within us very visible. It is a true craft which needs to be learned and practiced. And I honor those who learn this craft and honor children.
Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency
Picture books pretty much have me wrapped around their finger. I’m obsessed by the story-telling opportunities offered by this highly-visual genre! Picture books (as a format) seem simple at first blush, but they are often in fact quite layered and even poetic, displaying an elegant interplay between text and art. Best of all, picture books are accessible to everyone. You don’t have to be able to read in order to love them. They can be savored for what they offer visually, and when read aloud, until a reader has command over the written word. Simply, what format is better than the first one that takes children by the hand and turns them into book-lovers?
Susan Hawk, The Bent Agency
The best part of picture books, for me, is way words and illustration marry together to create a sum greater than its parts. I love the way art builds meaning in the story, and how the simplest of texts can be full of emotion and heart. I remember so well the picture books that I poured over as a child — mystified and delighted to be invited into the world of reading and books. For me, it’s an honor to represent picture books!
Tricia Lawrence, Erin Murphy Literary Agency
I love picture books because they celebrate a time in our life we all look back on so fondly. I love being a part of helping to create them because we’re creating books for kids who will look back on them for the rest of their lives.
Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency
I became a reader because of picture books, and I became an agent because of picture books. They are one of the richest and most influential forms of literature. So much feeling, so many laughs, in so few pages, meant to be read over and over again!
Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency
I love picture books because they speak to the quintessential child in each of us. They reach across the gaps of age and culture and language and bring us under their spell. A perfectly-crafted picture book is a full-senses experience that can last a lifetime.
Rachel Orr, Prospect Agency
I love the breadth of story and emotion—from clever and comical, to poetic and pondering—that can be found within the framework of a 32-page picture book. I love the right prose, the visual subplots, the rhythm and rhyme and repetition (and repetition, and repetition). But, most of all, I love them because they’re short.
Kathleen Rushall, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
I love working with picture books because they remind me that the earliest literature we read in life can be some of the most memorable (and the most fun!).
Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.
I love picture books because they’re fun to read aloud, and they’re meant to be read with someone else.They can’t not be shared! Even now, I don’t have kids, but when I read a good picturebook, my husband gets to be the audience. He’s very understanding. 🙂