People are rarely so free as when they’re reading. A book is a universe whose color is determined by rhythm, language and style. As a reader, you can penetrate into the darkest nooks and crannies of that universe. You can share the thoughts and lives of the characters. You can accept ideas or reject them. A number of routes are plotted out, but you’re never obliged to follow them. You choose whether you stay on the main road or whether to explore a few byroads as well.
You read a drawing in a similar way as a text. Every line, color and shape has its place. You determine which connections are meaningful for you. Just like poetry, for example, pictures can give you pleasure even when you don’t understand them completely. But the more meaning you can discern between the lines, the greater your pleasure. As with words, you can link ideas and emotions to pictures, but they can also develop your sense of beauty. A great many picture books, books that a lot of people automatically see as children’s stories, challenge readers of all ages to go within and to open themselves up to a universe that is sometimes alienating and confrontational.
from ‘coloring outside the lines’, Marita Vermeulen