I read an interesting article published in the NY Times about the declining market for children’s books. (You can read it here). One would expect that the troubled economy has had an effect on the demand, which it has, and my guess would have been the technology shift as the other big culprit – however they call out a third factor that I hadn’t really considered.

We have always alternated between being amused and horrified by that driving need so many parents feel to make sure their children are going to be above average and hugely successful, but I had not made the connection between that and the decline of picture books. Seems that they are being perceived as too simple and not challenging enough for little Ivy League bound offspring – you know, let’s get them going on War and Peace as soon as they can manage to hang on to it. Assuming of course there is time between ballet, lacrosse, music lessons, French, creative writing and math camp. Man it’s tough being a 4 year old nowadays.

I just hope that in 20 years the article will not be about the lack of creativity shown by 24 year old Harvard graduates…

2 replies
  1. Krista
    Krista says:

    Funny you should mention it, my son’s fourth grade teacher recently mentioned to them that they should still take the time to enjoy picture books in between the others they are reading, that there is so much to be learned from the literature and art. Hooray!

    We collect picture books, especially from historical places we visit– what better way to reinforce what you just learned about the Tuskegee Airmen, the Lewis and Clark expedition or the battle of Trenton?

    Because, of course, I want my kids to be above average and hugely successful!


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