An article in the New York Times suggests that sales of picture books for children are slumping because today’s overeager parents push their children to read chapter books instead.
Perhaps. But I’m in agreement with many of the article’s commenters, who say that picture books have simply gotten too expensive, especially given the current state of the economy. Many say they prefer to buy picture books at garage sales or check them out at the public library.
A commenter who’s a librarian notes that she checked the circulation stats of her library’s picture books and discovered a 10% increase in check-out rates over the past year. That would seem to indicate that the commenters are on the right track and perhaps the writer of the article was blowing the issue out of proportion.
That said, you can go in any bookstore and see all sorts of books that are quite beautiful, but whose plot lines are lame, if they have plots at all. My kids’ favorite books usually had strong plots, ones that they anticipated every time we read aloud together.
What do you think? Are parents pushing their kids into chapter books, or is it just that picture books cost too much?