Let’s plan The Year of the Picture Book!

At a recent meeting of New England Children’s Booksellers Advisory Council, Ken Geist, vice president and editorial director of Orchard Books and Cartwheel Books and author of the picture book The Three Little Fish, pleaded with booksellers to promote picture books. You can read the full article here.

In the ensuing discussion, one bookseller suggested making next year the Year of the Picture Book.

What a great idea!!

My mind is all a twitter with ideas for the Year of the Picture Book and of course at the forefront would have to be our beloved audience – kids.

So even though no one has declared 2011 “the year” yet, let’s get the ball rolling and have some fun. Let’s plan, right here on this blog, the perfect Year of the Picture Book.

Maybe it will be 2012 or 2013. Or maybe every year should be “the year.”
No ideas are too big or too small, so let’s hear yours.
And who knows – maybe someone will listen.

28 Responses to “Let’s plan The Year of the Picture Book!”

  1. Franziska

    Some ideas just to get the ball rolling… <br /><br />Website where children (and ONLY children) can vote for their favorite picture books of all time. To entice people to get their kids involved, they can have their kids&#39; artwork displayed there… perhaps to be published?<br /><br />Contest open to children to design the symbol/artwork for Year of the Picture Book. Winner gets to see their

  2. JosephDMMiller

    Perhaps someone should contact the ALA (American Library Association) and the NEA (National Education Association) and try to work out a partnership with one or both of them to have not only a Year of the Picture Book, but also a Picture Book Month/Week/Day. Then libraries and other organizations could coordinate the celebration.<br /><br />Another option would be to have someone start a National

  3. Jean Reidy

    Franziska – I LOVE your ideas, especially the PB marathon. And I agree a kids only vote would be really nice, but I wonder how you guarantee that it&#39;s only kids voting. I wonder how the Children&#39;s Choice awards work in that regard. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Jean Reidy

    Great ideas, Joseph. I&#39;d think that involving the ALA and NEA would be essential – like Read Across America. The notion of the National PB Association is also intriguing. When I think of the distinct nature of the PB – as that perfect symphony of text and illustrations and design – and how PBs can be the keys to literacy, they may certainly warrant their own association.

  5. taralazar

    I would love to expand PiBoIdMo next year to include kid writers! Great idea, Jean!<br /><br />Remember the old PBS show when kids filmed a short piece about what picture book they loved and why? YouTube makes it easy for us to do the same thing, picking a new kid every week, for 52 video book reviews in the Year of the Picture Book! <br /><br />Giveaways, original works by kids displayed on

  6. Jean Reidy

    Oh man, Tara, I love the 52 videos idea. I absolutely remember the PBS PB kid film clips. Was that part of Reading Rainbow? I can&#39;t remember.<br /><br />And you Tweeted Scholastic??? Smart, smart girl.

  7. Heather

    Great ideas, and I love the idea of a Picture Book Association.<br />We could have an &quot;everybody reads day&quot;(okay, we need a better name) where writers and illustrators get out and read to kids at their local libraries, schools, bookstores, etc.<br />A site where kids can submit their stories and win prizes, an ask an author/illustrator site where the kids &amp; parents can ask questions

  8. Alison Ashley Formento

    Jean–<br />It&#39;s a busy time here with lot of school-end stuff with my kids, but I&#39;m so, so excited to see this post and will tweet about it now. I&#39;m signing at ALA next week and will talk up the Year of the PB with every librarian I meet. I see some creative ideas here already and I&#39;d like to help promote this, too. <br />I love Franziska&#39;s suggestion of a kid creating a

  9. Jenn (From the Mixed-Up Files)

    My initial idea has already been mentioned more or less. I was going to suggest getting the domain http://www.yearofthepicturebook.com (every year can be &quot;the year&quot;, but perhaps the planning can go toward launching this in 2011 or 2012 if more time is needed) and have that act as a sort of command central web spot. My initial website idea is to make it so kids can upload their own videos

  10. Jean Reidy

    How about a chat room with a new PB author in it everyday? Teachers, kids and librarians can stop in to chat with their favorite authors.

  11. Jean Reidy

    Oh my goodness, Jenn. You are the comment queen if not the PB Homecoming queen. What fabulous ideas. And a website as command central is essential. I love your brainstorm of all the different jobs a website could cover. I do think we&#39;d need plenty of incentives to bring folks to the site. I also think we&#39;d need booksellers on board in a big way.

  12. Audrey Vernick

    Fabulous stuff here, Jean and everyone. My brain thought it was shutting down for summer, but I&#39;ll rev it back up and chime in soon with some real ideas. For now I&#39;m just pledging my support!

  13. Edna Cabcabin Moran

    Hi! I think The Year of the Picture Book is a marvelous idea! 🙂 Love the concept of Reading-Rainbow-like weekly book reviews done by kids. How about having kid book reviewers from all 50 states? And at the end of each segment, the reviewer will direct viewers to the Year of the Picture Book site which features a moderated section of short book reviews from kid reader/reviewer submissions

  14. Jennifer

    What about using public transportation in cities? I remember when I lived in Boston, during National Poetry Month, the T had ads featuring poems, and gave out copies of certain works every year at stations. That might be a way to reach city kids riding subways and buses to and fro — a spread like a few cartoon panels featuring the beginnings of PBs…advertising the eventual website you&#39;d

  15. Abigail Beal

    I posted this at the Blue Boards, I&#39;ll mention it here too…what about a Picture Book Month so it could be celebrated every year? 🙂 How exciting to celebrate the picture book – as a year, month or any celebration! 🙂

  16. Anonymous

    On the site or blog…<br />How about a feature like:<br />A Year in the Life of NAME OF AUTHOR.<br /><br />That way kids can see first-hand all the hard work (esp the length of time)it takes to create a PB.<br /><br />Like Aud, my brain is in summer mode. I&#39;ll keep thinking.<br /><br />-Nancy Viau

  17. Margo

    What great ideas! I especially like the idea of the chat on a website where kids can post questions and authors can answer them, especially if teachers and parents have been given a heads-up for this activity and publicize it. Also, it would be super to have independent stores sell picture books, as some people have mentioned here and on Verla&#39;s — just as Starbucks sells ancillary items,

  18. Watch CS Frye's BAD DRAGONFLIE s Booktrailer at http:www.myspace.com/cs_davidson

    Hello Jean, I absolutely love your idea for Picture Book Year and will go a step further i saying, I think it would be lovely for everyone who enjoys picture books if a different picture book and author could be introduced each month. Or week. I&#39;m sure there&#39;s plenty of us. There could be a link to a podcast of the book, a link to the authors website, children could enter reviews, etc.

  19. Diana Murray

    So many great ideas here! Thanks for starting this discussion, Jean!<br /><br />I like the website idea. We could feature a new pb related online video game each month (can be more than one, and perhaps seasonal). Much like they do on the Highlights kids&#39; website. My 5 year old loves those online games, and I know that when she plays the ones on PBS Kids, it makes her want to watch the

  20. Jean Reidy

    Gosh!!! We have so many fantastic ideas. Of course I&#39;m not surprised. After all, the PB writers community never ceases to astound me. <br /><br />I love the idea of Picture Book Planet. I&#39;m curious to hear how you all feel about a general brand versus a special &quot;year.&quot; I worry a bit that the general brand would eventually fall into the glut of existing websites. I also worry