I will preface this stream of conciousness with the fact, that, I love books! As we all know (I hope), books are an easy way to find inspiration when you are in an artistic slump. Thus, I made the decision over the weekend to continue a tradition my Mom started of collecting Caldecott Honor-winning books for my son. Luca is only 15 months old, and at this point, he does not even pretend to listen when I am reading to him. However, there is always the rare occasion that he does sit and listen (last night he managed to get through the rise and fall of "Max, King of the Wild Things" in Where the Wild Things Are before he got mad that a page wasn't turning and tore part of the cover). Plus, I have come to the conclusion in the past couple years, that the artwork in children's picture books is mostly amazing and always worth exposing your child to- even if they can only sit still long enough to get a glance.
In addition, these books are a cultural connection children get to have with their peers. When they grow up, they will remember what their mommy and daddy read to them before they went to sleep. Evey generation has something they can all remember about growing up in particular decade. The books that were popular when you were little are part of these memories. Books are like songs in a way. You can relate to the characters and the stories and they become a part of you and when you are lost they will always be there. All of this is why I love books, especially childrens picture books, and they are inspiring to me, as an artist and a person in a world that is crappy sometimes.