Memories, Parenting

Illustrations Matter

In Picture Book Revelations, I told how I vividly remembered the illustrations in Daddy’s Birthday Cakes. (See here.) I didn’t say it was approximately sixty years after I last saw that book. Therefore, why was I surprised when a son recalled illustrations from picture books I read to him thirty years ago?

As we reminisced during last night’s phone conversation, my youngest described three favorite picture books by their illustrations, not their plots: the book with the boy and his flashlight, the book with the boy wearing a blue sweater, the book with elaborately dressed animals riding in a carriage.

I pulled the described books from my bookshelves while my son searched for the covers online to confirm my guesses.

A flashlight is necessary for a successful sleep out.
Titch wore the same blue sweater during all his adventures
Piggins’ acquaintances rode in carriages. He solved mysteries.

Why did I recall all three titles within seconds?

What we see with our eyes matters. Regardless of the style, illustrations have a lasting impact—even more than I realized until an unexpected conversation with one son.

What do you visualize from your childhood?

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