“I am writing this blog for people who collect and admire children’s picture books, not because they are the necessary accoutrements of successful child-rearing (which they are), but because we know, the most beautiful, virtuoso art being produced these days is for the picture book.” February 4th, 2010

It’s now been one full year since I posted my first review on this blog. Hard to believe, really. I still have very vivid memories of my friend trying to convince me that this would be a good idea. At the time, it did not make sense to me, especially in light of the fact that my own illustration ‘career’ was languishing, and I had other writing projects that needed my attention. Also, having been away from the ‘book biz’ for about five years, I wasn’t sure I had anything relevant to say.

Now, a year later, I feel as if this blog has been a huge gift. The books on my shelves, loved but dormant, have new lives on this blog, and I have returned to my role as an advocate, a role that I’ve missed and one that has always felt like a privilege. Twinned with the Illustrated Word, my Twitter feed, this passion for beautiful picture books has been fully reawakened (and my bank account drained). I still need to work on my own books, but you know, there’s always retirement.

Without this forum, I’m not sure I would have encountered great artists like Poly Bernatene, Janice Nadeau, Peter Brown, Catherine RaynerMariji & Ronald Tolman, Emily GravettIsol, Jon Muth, Komako SakaiSebastian Meschenmoser, and Beatrice Rodriguez (and her lovely chicken), or indeed, all the new and not-so-new publications from long-time favourites. I strongly believe that books find us, not the other way around, and this blog has been a conduit for all the books trying to find me. In that respect, it’s been a selfish journey, but I hope that amidst all this ‘self-pleasuring’, I’ve been able to help these wonderful books find other forever homes. I’ve certainly been introduced to an online community of folks just like me who love great illustration. This has been one of the unexpected and most enjoyable aspects of jumping head first into the blogosphere.

Thanks to all the readers, fellow bloggers, and especially to all the writers and illustrators of all the amazing and inspiring children’s picture books that have crossed my path, or will cross my path. I couldn’t be more grateful, or humbled. Or jealous. And to Kevin, my friend, who is the sole reason that this blog exists at all, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this gift.