Book Wonders: my heart and Why Everyone Needs Picture Books

Topics: Blog
image of girl with arms open to the sky in a yellow field

For all of its many downsides, social media gives me access to fantastic book events and people I never would see without all that clicking and liking.

Saturday, I drove down to Olympia–so much easier than Seattle for me–and found a lovely author illustrator with yet another book that awed me with the beauty of its words and images.

Corinna Luyken said she used a process called monotype to create her grey images with pops of yellow that sparkle out at the reader. As I listened to her describe writing the poem first and then working the images to sing to the reader in the way they do, something occurred to me.

image of yellow tree

Almost two decades ago, I took a poetry course. The process of writing poems softened my heart and gave voice to my feelings in a way that my time with prose had not.

But I never considered writing poetry for others because virtually no one I knew read poetry. Ever.

Luyken reading her book to the crowd

In a warm crowded upstairs room of the independent Browsers bookstore, I realized that that I had overlooked picture books. Maybe I did this because I thought they were only for children.

I was wrong.

These books are for all of us. For older people in hospitals, for parents, for aunties and uncles, for caregivers, and for anyone unafraid to read something so beautiful–that even has pictures–so beautiful it can heal and soothe and sing to us of life’s goodness and sorrow.

Plus, there are lemon macaroons at the book launches, I might add.

lemon macaroons

May you have the good fortune of cracking open a picture book soon. Very soon. I can recommend my heart by Luyken if you need suggestions.


About the author: Karrie Zylstra Myton is a blogger, essayist, and aspiring author who writes for the wild joy it brings on the best days and the hard lessons she learns about life on the worst. After crafting stories in the ridiculously early morning hours, she chases her two sons, cuddles with cats, and laughs with her husband about how crazy life can get in middle age.

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