This blog is supposed to be about children’s publishing.
And that means it’s about hard times right now.
The good news is that, according to Chip MacGregor, children’s titles are on an upswing, with YA fiction selling well. Oh. Yes. YA fiction selling well.
Still, What’s-her-name, the cat person, or the rat person (who is she? the Editorial Ass person…I can’t remember what other people call her, oh yeah, Moon Rat–what does a rat have to do with an ass?) anyway, Moon Rat at Editorial Ass tells us all to buy books. Now don’t just gloss over that. Go and read her post. Because she did a very good job of convincing us to buy books. She gave lots of suggestions of when and where and what to buy. And there’s no question that if we want to keep having books to buy tomorrow we need to buy some of the books on sale today.
Buy children’s books. Buy picture books. The kids are never too young. You think, “Why spend sixteen dollars on a book that the kid is going to slobber on, chew up, and/or scribble over sooner or later?”
Here’s why: Picture books are worlds full of sight and sound. The colors and the words train children to love poetry and music and motion. The messages are usually good, too. But picture books are so much more than solitary excursions into art and moral lessons.
Picture book time is “me and Mom snuggle time” and in a flash it’s gone forever.
Don’t let it go without a fight. Pet therapy is a big thing in nursing homes. But did you know that baby therapy is just as big? Adults love holding babies. Snuggling with small children is as relaxing as petting a dog. And reading and laughing and sharing a moment of discovery with a tot is relaxing and inspiring, and it makes you feel good all over. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Not to mention your kid.
McDonald’s used to have an ad when I was younger that went, “You deserve a break today, so get up and get away, to McDonald’s.”
And I know that when I had two toddlers, Happy Meals and the ball pit were wonderful things. It’s nice to let the kids play in that big play pen, while you read some big people books.
In tough times, though, if you have to choose between a few Happy Meals on the one hand and one beautifully told and illustrated picture book on the other…
Ball pit full of other kids’ germs…or…Mom’s lap and Mom’s voice?
Soda and hamburgers and hyper kids…or…snuggle time?
What to do, what to do?
Lap time. There’s nothing in the world that can compare with it.