Posted by: anitanolan | December 17, 2010

Don’t Write off Picture Books Yet

From Publishers Weekly:

Children’s book publishers are still reeling from the New York Times front-page story back in October called “Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children.” Was the venerable newspaper right? Or do publishers consider the article and its alarming title the kid-lit equivalent of “Dewey Defeats Truman”?

The evidence: BookScan figures show that last year, picture books represented 10.8% of the overall children’s market—virtually the same as in 2005, when they represented 10.7%. “For us right now, picture books are still vibrant and thriving,” said HarperCollins Children’s Books president Susan Katz.

Several publishers PW spoke with disagreed with the Times reporter who wrote about the declining importance and popularity of picture books. “I don’t really see this phenomenon she’s talking about,” said Karen Lotz, publisher of Candlewick Press. “I definitely don’t think it’s so bleak,” said Mary Ann Sabia, v-p and associate publisher of Charlesbridge Publishing.

Read the rest here.

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Responses

  1. I was definitely glad to see this article in PW. When the hyperbolic NYT piece first hit the stands and internet I was angry. But now I’m almost a bit grateful. Thanks to that ridiculous blend of misquotes and assumptions more people than ever are talking and blogging about picture books AND their importance. Picture books are not only NOT as dead at the NYT claims, they are once again part of an energetic public dialogue!

    George Shannon

    • I agree, although I think most of the talk about PBs has been within the writing community. I have to say I felt more negatively about PB until I saw this video:

      http://tinyurl.com/246rdul

      I am now hopeful that e-readers, esp. those that are interactive, will lead to a resurgence in PBs.


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