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Denying children colourful pictures also seems to suggest that visual art is not as valuable as literature which is similarly unbalanced. Children should learn that art is about equality and, although they can embrace their preferred medium, they should not discount other forms of expression or consider them inadequate. Combining literature with pictures demonstrates the way in which art forms can effectively interact. Art forms are not exclusive. Furthermore, if employing pictures to captivate a child also inexplicably entwines their mind with the text then, what is the harm? Many adults reserve a special place in their hearts for their childhood favourites: from Noddy to The Very Jolly Postman; from The Mr. Men books to The Velvetine Rabbit: their love of reading may be pinpointed to these very affairs. It seems unfair to deny young readers of today these warm, fuzzy memories of bright funny pictures and exciting colours for fear of patronising them. Children should be allowed to be children before the age of five rather than constantly pushing them to develop more rapidly – if they are ready to advance then that could be nurtured on an individual basis. The fact is, with children, with people even, the way in which a mind works varies from person to person so it seems futile to prescribe an overall right or wrong on picture books. The marriage of text and pictures will spark the imagination of some children while others will derive stimulation from constructing mud pies in the garden. Modern children should not be robbed of the colours of innocence; even if the modern colours of innocence come in the form of The Tweenies.


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