Why do people write children’s books? It’s a question we often ask in these offices as so many picture books come through our door without any clear idea of an audience. Rather, the audience appears to be the authors themselves, the child inside.
Too bad that kids aren’t really into you.
There’s no doubt that Grandpas Farmis written, and illustrated, for children. Its also quite ingeniously put together. On the front cover, for example, there’s an unsophisticated but charming painting of grandpa and grandma out in front of their house with the barn and outbuildings in the background. The back cover shows the same house and barns. Each of the inside pages follows the example. Children are smart: they’ll figure this out and they’ll learn something about representation without being told. But speaking of words, the text in Grandpas Farm is perfect for young children. The first page says it all: “The farm is a magical place growing up. On my fifth birthday, I could look into the eyes of most of the animals on the farm. Some, like the cows, look as big as buildings to me.” Sizing the world to a five year old is not as easy as it would seem-hence all the impossible books for adult-children. Grandpas Farm,self-published through Lulu.com, succeeds where so many highfaluting operations fail by knowing its audience and taking pleasure in communicating with it. (2008)