But when people ask me why one writes picture books for children, I can really answer only for myself. Most of my books are about relationships, friends with friends, brothers with sisters, brothers with brothers, sisters with sisters, parents with children, the interpersonal relationships and the emotions they engender, joy and sorrow, hate and love, admiration and envy, anger and hope. These are all emotions we adults feel, too, but children are coming to everything for the first time, and give in to the immediacy of the moment.
Writing for them, I am really writing for myself. Some adult emotion sets me off, but it is a sort of déjà vu, a double exposure reliving the child’s emotion but reaching back into it with an adult perspective that gives it some protection or explanation.
Zolotow is a meme of mine today. She’s got me digging deep for picture books as I slowly revamp Tier 1 of 3M Cloud Library’s opening-day collection. Tier 2 is on its way as well.