The Pictureless Picturebook Manifesto *
IT IS TIME for independent authors to develop a new format in books for children—a digital format that bridges the gap between children’s picturebooks and the Magic of Reading on One’s Own.
The new format is essentially that of the picturebook-reintroduced, but without its pictures.
As a literary form, the Pictureless Picturebook offers discipline as definite and clear as that of the haiku, though less obvious to readers.
It is designed to serve children at the moment they are ready to learn basic reading skills, but it is capable of doing more.
It is capable of evolving with children as they progress from early readers through chapter books to middle grade books... into the stunning clarity of narrative itself.
Authors should write thousands of Pictureless Picturebooks with all deliberate speed.
They should write them for children, knowing they will often be experienced by adults—by parents and grandparents, aunts, and uncles, teachers, librarians, and family friends.
Pictureless Picturebooks are an invitation into the full flower of literacy. Writing them will enable children to progress more easily in reading and to experience greater variety in the literature they come to enjoy.
Along the way, they will acquire the most important of all tools: the key that unlocks the evolving legacy of human understanding.
All flags will fly and everyone will live happily ever after.