Children’s Bestsellers with International Appeal
Creator of Picture Books
Kazuo Iwamura is a creator of picture books such as The Family of Fourteen series. He was awarded France’s Order of Arts and Letters in 2014. How does he create worlds that enchant so many children?
The following are excerpts from our interview.
If you walk the hills and fields with a child, they hit you with a barrage of questions. “What is that?” “Why is this like this?” And those questions yield lots of fun, interesting discoveries. That’s what inspired me to make that the theme of this A Frog in Reflection series.
What it means to be alive—the wonders of existence. That’s the theme of this series. And there is no single, straightforward answer. That is the message. And the kid’s imagination takes him or her from there. You leave them territory to explore on their own.
Picture books may be for children, but the parents are the gatekeepers. If they don’t recognize any value in them, they have no reason to buy them. I hope to convey the importance and the joy to be found in picture books to the mothers and fathers out there.
I believe that one of the purposes of picture books is to connect the child, or children, to the adults around them. A child snuggling up close to their mom or dad as they have a story read to them--it’s a precious sight.