Picture Books Quotes

Picture Books Quotes by Mac Barnett, Arthur Helps, Mitali Perkins, Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, Jenna Bush, John Burnside and many others.

I think the trick of writing a good picture book manusc

I think the trick of writing a good picture book manuscript is to leave that space for illustration. An illustrated novel can do the same thing.
Mac Barnett
A man’s action is only a picture book of his creed.
Arthur Helps
I learned to read when I was three, so I skipped right over picture books and didn’t learn to appreciate art in books until much later.
Mitali Perkins
I think of writing–particularly of writing picture books–as a kind of choreography. A picture book must have pace and movement and pattern. Pictures and text should, together, create the pattern, rather than simply run parallel.
Beatrice Schenk de Regniers
[My mom] is quite the strict editor. I feel like maybe she has more of the old-school editing style, which really works in picture books, because you don’t want to articulate anything in words that is already shown through the pictures.
Jenna Bush
Growing up, I lived in a house without art: no picture books on the shelves, no visits to museums, no posters on the bedroom wall.
John Burnside
The illustrations in picture books are the first paintings most children see, and because of that, they are incredibly important. What we see and share at that age stays with us for life.
Anthony Browne
Picture books are being marginalised. I get the feeling children are being pushed away from picture books earlier and earlier and being told to look at ‘proper’ books, which means books without pictures.
Anthony Browne
And that’s why any of my picture books exist: They all seem to be built backwards from a simple, emotionally optimistic story beat.
Berkeley Breathed
In terms of age, I think I’ve covered about as wide a range as is possible, having written everything from picture books to early chapter books to middle grade novels to YA to one adult novel – and having been editor and lead writer for a magazine for retired people!
Bruce Coville
I think the reason I’m a writer is because first, I was a reader. I loved to read. I read a lot of adventure stories and mystery books, and I have wonderful memories of my mom reading picture books aloud to me. I learned that words are powerful.
Andrew Clements
Writing a picture book is like writing ‘War and Peace’ in Haiku.
Mem Fox
For children: I’m writing a picture book about the Big Dipper and a novel about a cricket, a firefly and a vole. For grownups: I’m writing poems.
Kate DiCamillo
It did occur to me that certainly African-Americans are not underserved in picture books, but those books are almost all about specifically black experiences.
Chris Van Allsburg
My son craves picture books about Transformers and Ninja Turtles and the Hulk; they show one fantastic creature smashing or zapping another into smithereens on page after page. They are dull and ugly and show no interesting stories or models of conflict resolution or character building.
Russell Smith
A good picture book can almost be whistled. … All have their own melodies behind the storytelling.
Margaret Wise Brown
I think picture books should stretch children. I think they should be full of wonderful, amazing words.
Jane Yolen
Remember picture books are the closest form of writing to a poem. Even though they don’t have to rhyme, they must be poetic. They must be written so the worst actress can read with comfort and expression.
Kirby Larson
When I was young, my favorite picture book was ‘Fletcher and Zenobia,’ written by Edward Gorey and illustrated by Victoria Chess. It’s long out of print now, but its mix of macabre humor and 1960s psychedelia made it a perfect children’s book for the times.
Rick Riordan
The great thing about making picture books is that you can make absolutely anything you want happen. It’s a bit like making a film, but you don’t need lots of money for actors and costumes – you just need pens, paper, and your imagination.
Mini Grey
With twins, reading aloud to them was the only chance I could get to sit down. I read them picture books until they were reading on their own.
Beverly Cleary
I want a nice picture book with 12 pictures – I do my best with that format.
Dick Bruna
Painting is the only universal language. All nature is creation’s picture book. Painting alone can describe every thing which can be seen, and suggest every emotion which can be felt. Art reaches back into the babyhood of time, and is man’s only lasting monument.
William Morris Hunt
The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?
David Attenborough
Picture books are for everybody at any age, not books to be left behind as we grow older.
Anthony Browne
The novels take longer to write than the picture book texts, and they do take a different sort of concentration. However, a very short, simple story that works well is just as exciting to me as any longer and more complex book.
Margaret Mahy
You need a theme in a picture book just as much or maybe even more than you need it in a novel.
Eve Bunting
The images in a picture book are the driving forces that tell the story. The words tell only what the pictures can’t.
Dan Yaccarino
My first favourite book was Are You My Mother? A picture book about a lost bird. After that my favourites changed almost yearly. I loved everything by Roald Dahl, but my favourite was probably Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. A librarian gave me a first edition of that book, which I treasure.
Rick Yancey
Maurice Sendak is the daddy of them all when it comes to picture books – the words, the rhythm, the psychology, the design.
Anthony Browne
My goal with The Adventures of Captain Underpants was to invent a style which was almost identical to that of a picture book – in a novel format. So I wrote incredibly short chapters and tried to fill each page with more pictures than words. I wanted to create a book that kids who don’t like to read would want to read.
Dav Pilkey
I am a believer in angels, though not the picture-book kind with wings and harps. Such angelic accoutrements seem as nonsensical to me as devils sporting horns and carrying pitchforks. To me, angel wings are merely symbolic of their role as divine messengers.
Richard Paul Evans
I don’t have an interest in any car that isn’t good for the environment, other than maybe an aesthetic quality in a picture book.
Emile Hirsch
If kids like a picture book, they’re going to read it at least 50 times. Read anything that often, and even minor imperfections start to feel like gravel in the bed.
Mark Haddon
As a father, I understand the importance of the bond that develops through reading picture books with your child.
Anthony Browne
I used the second year of my MFA program to write a young adult novel and began pursuing picture books as well. I loved the economy of this art form, choosing, with pristine attention, the exact right words to tell the exact right story.
Rebecca Serle
I didn’t have picture books – there weren’t many around when I was a child.
Anthony Browne
Lots of kids, including my son, have trouble making the leap from reading words or a few sentences in picture books to chapter books. Chapters are often long… 10 pages can seem like a lifetime to a young reader. Then reading becomes laborious and serious. That’s why some of the chapters in my books are very short.
Rhea Perlman
Picture books have terrible PR amongst the children of this country. Ask any librarian: after a certain age, children just aren’t interested in the picture book section anymore. It’s filled with moms, strollers, and unbalanced toddlers.
Rebecca Serle
Man’s actions are the picture book of his creeds.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The first book I could call mine, my first book, was a picture book, The Magic Monkey – it was adapted from an old Chinese legend by a thirteen-year-old prodigy named Plato Chan with the help of his sister.
Nick Flynn
They judge me like a picture book, by the colors, like they forgot to read.
Lana Del Rey
Every word, every character in a picture book must count.
Marla Frazee
I have to write what I can write, and writing the text of a picture book is like walking a tightrope, if you ramble off… As my friend Julius Lester says, A picture book is the essence of an experience.
Patricia MacLachlan
I remember the special quiet of rainy days
when I felt that I could enter the pages
of my beautiful picture books.
Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing
that the imaginary place I’m drawing really exists.
The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope
others as well, that such places might be real.
Jan Brett
I like the idea of being involved in pictures that can entertain the entire family and can stimulate youngsters into looking at picture books. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Nicolas Cage
I often lament that new picture books don’t get read because the classics hold up so well. It’s a ridiculous complaint because, um, the classics hold up so well.
Rebecca Serle
I never spent less than two years on the text of one of my picture books, even though each of them is approximately 380 words long. Only when the text is finished … do I begin the pictures.
Maurice Sendak
Many adults that I have met in my time believed that picture books are ‘babyish’. I hope I have changed minds on this, as I set out to do.
Anthony Browne
It struck me that when we read picture books to children, we parents, and people as a whole, do not appear in them very much, and that they are more constructed to be a world of children and animals.
Mamoru Hosoda
Picture books are the distillation of an idea, and you have to use just the right words. I love that, and I try to use a lot of action verbs.
Denise Fleming
In animation and comics, the viewer breezes past the drawings. But with picture books, each page is going to be stared at and touched and read over and over. Maybe even chewed on a little. Everything needs to be thoughtful and economical, thirty-two little masterpieces.
Vera Brosgol
I can’t think of a story that doesn’t have something terrible in it. Otherwise, it’s dull. So when I embarked into the world of picture books, my first thought was to do something about the dark.
Daniel Handler
You’ll go insane if you try to have a picture-book house.
Patrick Dempsey
Picture books are more difficult for me because it is telling a huge story in the least amount of words.
Renee Watson
Children’s picture books are a unique record of social evolution: in gender roles and racial politics, as is much discussed, but also in fashion and interior design.
Rumaan Alam
Even tiny children looking at a picture book are using their imaginations, gleaning clues from the images to understand what is happening, and perhaps using the throwaway details which the illustrator includes to add their own elements to the story.
Philip Reeve
I don’t think about it that much, but sometimes I am surprised by that. I sometimes wonder why I didn’t turn out to be the kind of picture-book writer who has stuffed animals that go with their books. That would be okay with me.
Lynne Rae Perkins
As a boy, I devoured comics but never saw what we now describe as a picture book.
Anthony Browne
I just did a picture book called The Wildest Brother on Earth, and you will find both of my children in there.
Cornelia Funke