Well, April was very picture book heavy. It’s been a struggle balancing working, reading, content creation and house hunting, all while trying to find a vaccine appointment. If you live outside Ontario, Canada, you may not know — but it’s been an extremely stressful pandemic, due to poor decision-making at the leadership level.
All the stress really just leads me to consumption of children’s materials. Picture books, movies, shows, etc. As adults, we often have this misconception that childhood is so easy. And for some it is. But children are often faced with difficult and stressful situations, and the right book, song or movie can help them understand and tackle the situations they face.
I don’t remember many picture books from when I was a child. I was an avid reader, but I likely consumed the stories that were available to me, and those would have been centered on white folx. I feel so much joy reading stories about a young Haitian girl, or about a South Asian child dealing with body image at recess, or a young artist in NYC being influenced by Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
It’s also nice just to see and read about children being brave despite their fears of going to school, or facing underwater caverns, or navigating a beloved pet’s health. Representation matters. The characters in the stories matter. Body positivity, inclusion and acceptance — these are issues children are constantly dealing with. And as adults, I think we can recognize that these issues don’t just disappear.
I can definitely promise many more children’s picture books in May, but I’m going to attempt to return to adult literature as well! Especially because I’ll have some news about romances next month! Happy reading!