This morning, I witnessed magic in my living room. The kind that gently pulls everyone together, under the same spell, before anyone realizes what’s happening. It was a sticky July morning, windows wet with condensation and the smell of pancakes still wafting from the kitchen. (OC gets credit those, she’s a whiz with a spatula.) It was there, in the sweet spot after breakfast but before the day really got started that YC, he’s 5 now, came to me with a book. It wasn’t one of our newest ones. It wasn’t shiny, or silly but it was long overdue. This summer has been filled with family board games, movie nights and vacations. We’ve been soaking up the laughter and the late nights, but it has been light on bed time stories.
A few weeks back I wrote about my struggles with our kids losing interest in picture books. Even the youngest, is choosing longer, more advanced stories that we read by chapters. But this book? This was an old favorite. We snuggled together on the sofa and I honestly don’t know who was more excited. Most days, I would call for my other kiddos to join us, this time, I just started reading. It didn’t take long, two, maybe three pages into the book and MC was sitting near his brother while OC snuggled up by my shoulder. For the beautiful few moments it took us to read about “Mike Mulligan, Mary Ann and some others…” the house was quiet and everyone was entranced. Picture book magic, my favorite kind. I was elated to see it still exists, and reminded of the times I’ve seen its power in the past. There have been teenage nieces and nephews, stopped in their tracks by a bed time story. Neighborhood kids who declare they don’t like reading, mesmerized by the power of words read from a picture book page..Picture books are magic in its purest, most approachable form, and that is why I’m so drawn to write them.
It’s easy to lose track of the ‘why I write picture books’ as I’m trying to find my own version of ‘how.’ I need to make sure that I stay driven by the ‘why’, and not bogged down by the ‘when’. I know that I have a lot to learn, but the answer to the ‘why’ will remind me that I don’t necessarily need to have a ‘who’ in order to find success. There are no shortage of elements in the publishing equation, I need to remember that the ‘why’ is the most important. I write picture books because I want to connect with the most genuine members of the human race. I want to speak in a language that they understand, and tell stories that resonate with their precious little spirits. I want to make them laugh, and most importantly let them know they are seen.
Stay tuned for the exciting interviews in coming months!
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