I have something to confess: I love reading picture books as an adult, and that even before having kids. Curled with a hot latte on the mat in the picture books corner of bookstores and devouring children’s books is still a favorite pastime. Now I have a good excuse for that: my four kids.
Picture books have taught me various lessons. As a psychotherapist, I know that often “less is more” and this is a message that also comes through picture books. Less words, less pages, less complexity, and yet all this is more: more left to imagination, more visualizing, more possibilities, more dreaming on…
Picture books have also taught me that words have hidden meanings, they can function like keys that open doors to different planes of understanding. The words on a page don’t tell the whole story. Just as words in psychotherapy don’t tell the whole story. There’s always another possibility, another interpretation.
Picture books have taught me to remember to see both the big picture and pay attention to detail– that’s the only way to enjoy illustrations and life.
Another lesson by picture books is that they can provide order in chaos, an oasis of relaxation amidst crazy schedules and multiple demands. The small doses of daily relaxation while reading to my kids can amount to a large stress reduction in all of us.
Picture books have taught me that no matter how tired or stressed or in a hurry to finish my work I may be, the smile that lights up the faces of my children when I read to them is precious. And contagious too!