I have not been blogging much of late, dear reader. I have been as they say 'under the pump'. But something has happened in my small world that I feel I must give voice to. I was recently speaking to a dear friend who also works in the arts. He has a young family and is a fabulous, hands-on kind of dad. I admire him greatly. In the course of our 'convo' (new word for me, dear reader) he mentioned (to my immense horror) that he thinks picture books are a 'luxury item'. 'Why buy a picture book,' he said, 'when there are so many in the library?'
This comment has worried me like a chipped tooth all week. When, in an affluent, Western society, did picture books become a luxury item? Granted the hardbacks can be expensive, I mostly reserve those for special occasions, gifts and whatnot. But the paperbacks? I cannot imagine our home without it's precious, shambolic collection of PBs. Our collection has grown with us, dear reader, and enriched our lives immeasurably. I give you exhibit A. Our first copy of Peepo! by Janet & Allan Ahlberg. My son and I read it so many times it fell to bits. I bought another and kept the patched-up version as back-up. Might I add, I was a sole parent for ten years but I always managed to eke a few dollars out of my 'deserted wives pension' for a picture book. My son is twenty-one now and the price of picture books has barely changed. Like coffee they have not kept abreast with inflation (praise be).
I implore you, dear reader, don't stop buying picture books. For the sake of art, literacy, beauty and as a tactile record of beautiful memories shared with your children, buy them, share them, love them. xx