Updated: Dec 17, 2020
A big part of the Picture-This Books™ design is the fact that children draw their own illustrations and bring the words of the story to life - precisely how they (and only they) imagine them.
On the About the Author page of this website, you'll find some words from me on why I chose to create these books, in this style and with drawing being a key component to the Picture-This Books™ concept. It began as a personal realisation and then, as you'll see in my first blog post (Children's Books - but not as you know them) it became a bit of a mission - fuelled, at least in part, by my horror at a lack of representation in the publishing industry.
However, when I first had the idea for Picture-This Books™, the issue of representation and inclusivity wasn't even on my radar. I was blissfully ignorant and therefore accidentally complicit.
I just wanted to create children's books that had a space inside them for children to draw on. It was that simple. The pushing force behind the initial idea for Picture-This Books™ was that I wanted the books to encourage creativity and develop imagination. I wanted to produce something for creative minds; the ones who like to make their mark, but also the ones who are filled to bursting with ideas - but don't know where to start.
There is something really energising and freeing about a blank page. Especially when you know it is yours to do what you want with. For our children, this is magnified by a billion. They live within so many confines and to a routine that is, most of the time, out of their control. Present them with a sheet of paper and some colours, and suddenly they are free!
Studies show that the importance of drawing in early child development extends far beyond what we already knew - for example, we have long known that drawing helps children develop gross and fine motor skills. Drawing aids physical development and control, as well as hand-eye coordination - all things that come in very handy (got to love an accidental pun), when it comes to writing. We now also understand that the act of drawing benefits our children in other ways too.
Unlike any other activity, drawing gives children the space to express their emotions - to put what they are thinking and feeling onto paper. It allows them to experience autonomy. It helps build their confidence and invites them to be imaginative, take risks and be experimental. Drawing has even been found to increase cognitive processes as children explore the page; driven by a range of thoughts and feelings, they rapidly increase their knowledge and understanding with every stroke of the pen.
Picture-This Books™ speak to this valuable skill by providing children with gentle and reassuring stories for them to visualise and bring to life. Each book invites children onto a mindful journey into their imagination and makes a really special keepsake.