Today is the 1st of November. Picture Book Month (PBM) begins.
But, with Dianne de Las Casas’ passing last year, it has been a great challenge to keep PBM alive. As we are all used to celebrating PBM, it would have been launched with a calendar of themes each day of the month in early October. The first PBM Champion’s essay on the relevance of picture books would have been posted on the website and on social media. And classrooms, libraries and homes would be celebrating reading and the many delights of picture books. In this day and age, when a gathering dark circles around the globe, the reason to promote reading and to emphasize the importance of books in our individual lives and in the collective consciousness is paramount. PBM must be kept alive.
Such is not completely the case this year.
I have been Dianne’s content and web admin for PBM since 2016 as well as PBM Champion in 2013. It saddens me that this year, I am not as busy campaigning for books and reading in the US through PBM and National Book Month in my home country, the Philippines.
Dianne and the rest of the PBM ladies who started it all in 2011 have created amazing content with messages that speak of truths, insights, goodness and beauty that we all need to be reminded about. Over the years, essays written by PBM Champions enlighten readers of the ever changing and exciting landscape of Children’s Literature in general and the picture book industry, specifically. PBM is not only a celebration. PBM is a community.
I do not know where PBM will go from here, given the challenges of keeping the website up and running. But I am holding on to a candle of hope that one day, these challenges will be resolved.
In the next few days, readers will get to read essays of PBM Champions from previous years. This year, it is a PBM celebration in retrospect. May the curated posts that I will be putting together serve its purpose to remember why we need to do what we need to do in any positive way we can.
Today is the 1st November. It is Picture Book Month. Read! Share! Celebrate!