I have a passion project. Thanks to Facebook, and my inability to hold onto a USB stick for more than thirty second without losing it, I have started to gather an album of picture book images. The curation method for these is simple, eccentric. I have to like it. I have to be able to talk about it.
(How curious it is that books are one thing when read privately, selfishly, but quite another when we talk about them.)
I did a talk the other day to some local sixth formers about life as a researcher, doing this. Books. Literacy. Trying to understand one of the most global, primal experiences. Reading. Communication. Everything builds from books, I said, everything.
I described research:
Asking why. Asking, always, asking why things are the way they are and what can we do to affect, address, challenge, question that.
And I showed them Art.
Capital A, capital ART.
Picture books are something which we treat, sometimes, too lightly.
We’re driven by our sense of adulthood. Age based imperialism. A sense that we know better, that we shouldn’t be reading these things.
So sometimes, I asked them to just look at things.
Because looking – seeing – is where it all begins.
All of it.