Monday, November 3, 2014

Inspiration Monday: Quote by Aaron Becker

A fantastic quote was posted this weekend by Caldecott award-winning author/illustrator of the great books Journey and Quest, Aaron Becker. I loved what he said so much I simply wanted to share it here as well. The philosophy behind it gives me a great feeling of inspiration for why I'm compelled to get this project finished and share it with the wider world.

From the following link:

Why Picture Books Are Important by Aaron Becker
The picture book physically connects a child to their world through story. It provides an elemental platform in which storytelling can find its way into the newest members of our planet and provide a moral compass, or at the very least a subtle whisper: “You are not alone. You matter.” When we share a book with a child, an exchange is taking place: a passing-down of wisdom, adventure, joy, and even love. The pictures take on a special significance here. They become the vehicle of communication – the path upon which a young child can walk on, or better yet, to meander through, as they discover which way they want to go. As the world changes, we must ask ourselves what we’re losing in this transition from books to glowing entertainment devices. The fear here, I think, is that without the quieter paths of a shared book, we might all end up lazily building houses made of straw, or worse yet, turn into the big bad wolf himself, searching for the next best thing to eat up.
The picture book is a physical object that demands our engagement and attention. It does this without beeps or whistles or touch screens or promises of something faster, better, and more efficient. It tells us we can take our time. The pictures, within their bound pages, allow children to formulate their own stories; to find their own way. But the picture book also suggests something greater – that the world is a place we might have an actual connection to. In the arms of a parent, a child hears and touches and feels that connection through the simple gift of story. All they have to do – all WE have to do – is slow down and listen. I’ve yet to find an “app” that does this very well.
Gnomes of the Cheese Forest and Other Poems is a different sort of "picture book" in the sense that it's a collection of drawings and words instead of one continuous, wordless story. All the same, it is my hope that the various stories, reflections and drawings within give readers the same sense of connection, wonder and slowing down in this world that feels way too fast and less tactile. I may likely make an e-book version available for practical reasons, but I'm much more excited about it becoming a physical collection of book-shaped molecules to curl up with on a cozy chair.

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