"Picture books are tough to sell, because the audience that should be buying them—art students and collectors of children's books—don't know they want them," said Nicole White, children's book buyer at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena, Calif. That's not to say that picture books don't get into the hands of children and their parents, but they are only one part of the potential readership. As a reminder about the universal appeal of picture books, White's began mounting displays for older kids and adults with a sign that says "Picture Books Aren't Just for Kids." The most successful displays, said White, mix new books with older favorites with strong story lines, such as Graeme Base's The Eleventh Hour. Even with the extra promotion, some picture books can be a hard sell, so White chooses her display titles carefully. "David Wiesner's gotten a lot of accolades, but his most recent title [Gonna Roll the Bones, written by Fritz Leiber] can be a challenge," said White of the Caldecott Medalist's picture book about playing craps.
Volume 251 Issue 48 11/29/2004