Even if I weren’t flattered by Marc Tyler Nobleman’s inclusion of The Day-Glo Brothers in his discussion, I’d still think he’s right on in his declaration that we’re in the midst of “The Golden Age of Picture Book Biography”:
Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman is a picture book and it is shelved in the children’s section of bookstores, but I wrote it for all ages. I’ve appeared at a diverse bunch of venues for it, from museums to comic conventions. At most of them (aside from school visits, naturally), I seem to be signing more books to adults than to kids.
The crossover potential of nonfiction picture books is an idea that some people in publishing have not embraced. In many cases, sales don’t give them reason to…but that is perhaps because some authors haven’t seen the value in promoting their books as crossover books.
Though good illustrated nonfiction can have an all-ages audience, that is not the only reason I feel we are in the Golden Age of Picture Book Biography. Overall, the quality of writing in new nonfiction picture books has never been richer.
The days of starting a picture book biography with “Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in Kentucky” are as dead and buried as, well, Abraham Lincoln.