The most recent Horn Book includes my article on picture books about loss in which I argue for the forced subjection of preschool children to books about death. In storytime. This gets right to my abiding belief in the importance of grounding our work in mission. Is there a purpose to storytime beyond entertainment? What might that be? And what can we do to invest our programs with deeper meaning? Read three-year-olds books about dead dogs, of course!
Seriously, though, let us remember, always, that children’s library experiences are formative. This is especially true of very young children. If I want teens to think of books and stories as an integral part of their emotional well-being (and I do want that, very much) then I had better make sure that their earliest literary experiences show them how and where books and stories fit. Young people will never know the breadth of our collections if we hide it from them. And they will never believe in their rights to all stories unless all stories share the same spotlights.
That’s what I think. What do you think?
Here’s the article: “What Makes a Good Picture Book about Loss?“