A group of children’s authors and illustrators have found an eye-catching way to demand better quality picture books from their peers. A manifesto signed by 21 members of the kids’ publishing industry, appeared as a full-page ad in the November issue of Horn Book Magazine and on the website thepicturebook.co
The coalition is spearheaded by Mac Barnett, a San Francisco author who sits on the board of 826LA, the non-profit writing and tutoring centre founded by Dave Eggers. Vancouver-born artist Carson Ellis handlettered and illustrated the document. Other authors and illustrators who have signed the letter include Laurie Keller, Lemony Snicket, and Jon Scieszka.
Barnett says he wrote the document on a former professor’s advice:
“The target audience for ‘A Picture Book Manifesto’ is quite sweeping.… It is really an exhortation to everyone – writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, art directors, booksellers, librarians, and parents – that we could all be doing better. The only people who are doing fine are the kids themselves. I really believe the rest of us should be doing better.”
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