As booksellers, we're pretty commited to text. We like words. And stories. Some of us have strong feelings about font. We like that those symbols, organized very specifically on a page, can transport us to other worlds, times, and perspectives. Here at Eight Cousins we also feel strongly about visual literacy, and not just because of our children's bookstore heritage. We all currently live in a visual culture, we are bombarded every day with images, photographs, selfies. It is just as important to learn how to decode images and illustrations as it is to develop textual literacy. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, which is a reminder that it is really important to take pictures seriously, value the stories they create, the worlds they illuminate, and the perspectives they can offer. Understand them. We've certainly seen some powerful images in the news lately, and reading those images -- reading illustrations, photographs, pictures -- is as vital as reading text.
This newsletter is dedicated books that are image driven. Some of these book recommendations are wordless (ask us why wordless books are great for teaching reading!) and some have text, but all have a strong visual element that either complements or challenges the text. Furthermore, Graphic Novels are exploding right now, for adults as well as kids. Our own graphic novel section has expanded twice within the past eight months. Some of our favorites are listed below. If you have suggestions, we'd love to hear them.
Finally, this newsletter is titled Illustrated Books for All Ages because not only do we want to remind everyone that there are some great illustrated books for adults available, we would like to suggest taking some time to appreciate picture books. Don't let the kids have all the fun!