I’m busy proof-reading the new Completely Cassidy book, Drama Queen, which is officially out in January. The proof read is an author’s last chance to check over the book to make sure everything is as it should be – no spelling mistakes, the right words are in the right place, it all makes sense – basically, it’s the Last Chance Saloon. And normally at this stage, I’d expect to have all the illustrations in place but my illustrator (the awesome Antonia Miller) is super-busy at the moment, so the pictures are being added later. I didn’t think it would make a big difference to my enjoyment of the book but it has and it’s made me realise how important pictures are to some stories.
Not all my books are illustrated. The Afterlife books aren’t. I don’t know whether my new TOP SECRET series (out next March) will have pictures but I hope there will be a few here and there. I know that the ebook versions of the Completely Cassidy books don’t have the same pictures as the paper book and that makes me a little bit sad, because I love the Cassidy doodles so much. What’s not to love about this?
And then there’s Snug as a Bug, which has page after page covered in fabulous illustrations. Up until last week, I would have argued until I was blue in the face that picture books MUST HAVE PICTURES. Then I read The Book With No Pictures and changed my mind. More importantly, I read it with my little boy, who is three – he took a bit of convincing that the plain white cover was interesting enough. But once we started reading, he loved it and asks for it over and over.
So what do you think? Do you prefer a book with pictures? (Incidentally, I am a firm believer that you are NEVER too old to read a picture book.) Or do you prefer to concentrate on the words?