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Georgia O'Keeffe
Word Play: A picture's worth more than a thousand words
Word Play: A picture's worth more than a thousand words

It's hard to imagine that the reading of picture books could be controversial, but this fall saw a considerable kerfuffle over a story in the New York Times that declared picture books to be in decline. In the midst of a perfectly respectable news story about a business trend — fewer picture books are being published and sold — the tale took a dark turn into the dank woods of parental anxiety. "The economic downturn is certainly a major factor" in the decline in picture-book sales, the Oct. 7 story noted in its summary paragraph. The reporter, however, immediately abandoned this humdrum explanation for a juicier one: "but many in the industry see an...

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