I’m Laura Taylor, writer, translator and mother of two. Originally from the UK, I now live on the shores of Lake Macquarie near Newcastle, Australia. I am on a mission to explore children’s picture books from every country in the world. Come and join my journey!
In December 2016, a TED Talk popped up in my LinkedIn feed with the commentary “Need an idea for a New Year’s Resolution?” Intrigued, I watched from start to finish as Ann Morgan described her experience of reading a book from every country in the world in the space of one year.
The next day, an idea grabbed me and just wouldn’t let go: What if I could read a children’s picture book – or a selection of picture books – from every country in the world?
I’ve always been a bookworm and, since the birth of my eldest daughter in 2012, I’ve rediscovered a passion for picture books. I love the way they convey depth and meaning in a limited number of words and images; the beauty of simple prose; the excitement of a rollicking rhyme; the colours and designs; the clever titles … I could go on.
I believe that books are a vital part of cultural heritage and that reading widely can build bridges between people of different backgrounds. Cultural awareness starts at a very young age; children are intrigued by similarities and differences. Picture books can help them – and us – make sense of our world and accept diversity. As well as entertain, provide comfort and inspire a love of reading.
In Planet Picture Book, my aim is to focus on contemporary children’s books, ideally by authors and illustrators who are based in their country of origin. I hope to experience picture books that speak to modern readers, both adults and children, with an authentic voice. I hope to uncover books that stimulate conversation, discovery and awareness – and that leave a lasting impression of the culture that has shaped them.
Come and join me as I explore Planet Picture Book.
Laura Taylor, May 2017