I read picture books to my daughter for nearly five years before I gained a deep appreciation for the form. Sure, I read them daily and with enthusiasm (mostly). But I read them the same way I would read a chapter book or an illustrated dictionary. That is, I read them as if the pictures were servant to the text, secondary and utilitarian.
If I referenced a picture at all, it was to capture Zora’s attention with quick questions like: What color is her shirt? or How many ducks do you see?
Then I attended one of Carmen Oliver’s picture book seminars offered through The Writing Barn in Austin. Oliver, author of Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies, teaches the art of picture book writing, but her seminar was just as valuable as a picture book appreciation primer.