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Are picture books an endangered species?

October 8, 2010

Sales of picture books are dropping, say booksellers, so publishers have cut down on the number of titles they print annually.

The drop is partly related to the economic downturn, but The New York Times reports that parents are increasingly opting for text-heavy reading material, even for younger children.

Parents have begun pressing their kindergartners and first graders to leave the picture book behind and move on to more text-heavy chapter books. Publishers cite pressures from parents who are mindful of increasingly rigorous standardized testing in schools.

Despite the decrease, publishers say popular titles — like “Goodnight, Moon” and the “Eloise” series — continue to sell well.

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