Inspired by the New York Public Library exhibit,”Why Children’s Books Matter,” I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the art of the book. Successful children’s authors like Patricia Polacco, Maurice Sendak, and two of my favorites, Jan Brett and Eric Carle are also wonderful artists in addition to their writing.
Writing is so visual. And to appeal to today’s device-driven kids, who are on computers before they can even read, means books today need more than ever to be visually appealing. I wish I had the talent to draw or use computer animation to illustrate my writing. I even love reading some graphic novels written for adults just to see the artwork.
In the two years of researching, writing and editing my children’s bio on the inventor Lewis Latimer, I have had visions of how an artist might illustrate some of the scenes I have written. And in my second and third revisions, I have added more colorful language and changed scenes to be more visual. I am so looking forward to seeing who might be paired up with my dream for my first book. A beautiful picture book needs good writing paired with great illustration.