The Wall

Fresh from my Barnsey Ban (a.k.a. Are You Insane? We Don’t Need Any More Books! or shouts that sounded vaguely something like that…), Mini Mimi and I headed straight for the air-conditioned love that is the Children’s section. However, we stopped dead in our gift card toting tracks when we saw the back wall. The wall that had always been covered in shiny, delicious, new picture book titles. Llama, Llama, Red Pajama, Olivia, Click Clack Moo…so many of my favorite titles have spent time on that very wall. The wall that has tempted me with new titles, new authors, new ways to spend money…the same wall that strikes fear into Mr. Mimi’s wallet heart. Today friends, that wall was covered on chapter books while the new picture books were relegated to a small stand off to the side.

Maybe this has been going on for some time, but please remember, I have been on a Barnsey Ban- perhaps a bit of a 12 step program to curb my little addiction. Regardless, WTF?!

Now, Mimi loves her a good chapter book. When I moved to teach second grade, I discovered some amaze balls new characters and re-discovered some old friends from the olden days when I was in school. (I’ll have to tell tales of yore to the Mini someday…you know, “yore”? Also known as “before iPads and e readers”?) However, I worry.

I worry that in the craze to push their children to move forward, do better, score higher and get into Princeton, parents may abruptly abandon the picture book in favor of the chapter book. Remember this little rant? Sharing a picture book with the Mini brings me nothing but joy. Girlfriend may be just over a year, but she is full of opinions and in addition to hating chicken, she has stories that are her favorites, that make her laugh and smile. Going into classrooms and sharing a picture book with kids in first grade and kids in fifth grade is also high on the list of My Fave Things To Do (along with needing out, blogging and shoe shopping).

Although I still heart my Barnsey, I hope that this change is just a reflection of a need for a new look and not a sign of things to come.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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  • I noticed that too a few weeks ago. I was a little panicked when I went to the children's section and saw that!! I miss the wall of picture books!!

    July 12, 2011 at 8:14 pm
  • I haven't been there in a while as I frequent the library a bit more than bookstores. Much better for the pocketbook. 🙂 Anyway, I read this post and thought of this article that was recently posted on the local news here in Utah. I know I have one nephew that would not have persisted in his reading struggles with chapter books if it hadn't been for the picture books he loved.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm
  • Yes! I noticed this too! I'm thinking it's because of the Summer Reading program. I bet the colorful picture books are back in the spotlight when school starts.

    July 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm
  • I guess I will have to check it out. How can a small stand hold Cynthia Rylant and Faith Ringgold and Jane Yolen?

    Say it ain't so!

    July 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm
  • I noticed that in our store too. Went straight to that same wall to find a new "fall" read aloud and found chapter books! Also, have you noticed that more and more of the store is games and toys now? Fewer books and more games?

    July 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm
  • Be glad you saw any kind of books! The one near me is filled with TOYS!

    July 15, 2011 at 1:47 am
  • oh I agree! you don't have to be a kid to love a great picture book 🙂

    July 26, 2011 at 1:49 am
  • My 5th graders love, love, love picture books. I agree that I think it is just a back to school thing. I predict they will be back, and I can't wait!

    August 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm
  • Pushing kids into chapter books is like putting toddlers in a driving seat. They may have some success, but the end result is usually a mess.

    Keep up the great work in promoting the effectiveness and necessity of picture books.

    William Smith

    August 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm

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