The month of November has been designated National Picture Book Month since 2011. Picture book author Dianne de Las Casas teamed up with other children’s book authors and illustrators to create the celebration in response to a 2010 New York Times article entitled “Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children.” The November initiative has since been an effort to promote the importance of physical books for children’s literacy in a digital age. While many people predict that digital media will be the death of print books, we believe they are still important, and will remain so, especially for children.
Just for fun, here are some picture book facts!
● The first “picture books” seem to have appeared in 12th-century Japan, where illustrated scrolls combined words and pictures and were read by children as well as adults
● The average length of a modern picture book is 32 pages
● Beatrix Potter’s manuscript for “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” was rejected by publishers six times before Potter self-published the book to great success
● Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” has been translated into 62 languages and has sold an average of one copy per minute since its publication in 1969
● Clifford, the Big Red Dog was originally named “Tiny”
● The strange creatures in “Where the Wild Things Are” were originally horses, but Maurice Sendak was having trouble drawing them correctly so turned them into imaginary beasts instead
● When Dr. Seuss faced writer’s block, he would go to a secret closet full of hundreds of hats and wear different ones until the words came
● Before the Nazis invaded Paris in World War 2, H.A. and Margret Rey fled on bicycles, carrying a rough manuscript for “Curious George”
● At the Great Bend Public Library, there have been more than 2500 picture books checked out since the beginning of 2018
The library has been celebrating picture books all month. If you visit our Facebook page, you can view posts throughout the month of our library staff posing with their favorite picture books. We also just received a bunch of new picture books, so stop by and take a look! For more information about the celebration, you can visit www.PictureBookMonth.com.
See the schedule below for the library’s activities this week. For more detailed information on any library events, programs, or resources, check out our website (www.greatbendpl.info), send us an email (email@example.com), or call the circ desk (620-792-2409). You can also “like” and follow GBPL on Facebook.
Michael Adamyk is the Marketing and Technical Services Manager at the Great Bend Public Library. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.