I don't remember having picture books as a child. I don't know why that is. Maybe we were just moving around too much when I was that age. But my dad bought a set of Collier's Junior Classics at some point and I began to devour them. I still have them, too. The exact set.
My kid loved picture books. I still have some of those, too, although I've given them some of their favorites: Mary Anne's Mud Day, Too Little, Mr. Pine's Purple House, Rumple Nose-Dimple and the Three Horrible Snaps, Ickle Bickle Robin and The Stone Doll of Sister Brute. My kids had strange tastes, at times. They still can quote extensively from any number of books, as could (and can) I.
And yet, most beginning writers I've met are focused on that holy grail of the publishing industry. I guess I can understand it. They don't have many words. They're just so darn cute, you could scream. Little kids want you to read them over and over and over and over until you're forced to say something like, "Hey, I know! Let's watch mindless drivel on TV until you fall asleep and I carry you up to your bed." It's really tempting to try your hand at writing one. You've got a couple of little kids at home and they love your bedtime stories and it's a good way of teaching them that vegetables are good for you and to always listen to your parents. You might hit the jackpot, but to be brutally honest, probably you won't.
I guess I'm glad I started my career sans computer, sans self-publishing, practically sans typewriter. I had to look for places that wanted my writing--church and community newsletters. primarily. Then I got a job with a local newspaper, which meant sitting through hours and hours of boring political rhetoric, but which gave me an in for features in their Sunday supplements. It was the old story of "work your way up."
It's sad, in a way, but I don't think there are many of those "work your way up" opportunities any more. Where do you pile up those credits that will make an editor look at your work with a degree of interest? Maybe in the blogosphere. I don't know. Most blogs aren't really like newspapers. The people who read them are usually there for one particular focus. How you find your way through a variety of separate interests and make a name for yourself is anybody's guess.
But you know what? Try. Try it anyway. If you like to write, if you want to write, and especially, if you have to write, get out there and see if you can find yourself a niche. You won't publish that picture book, that middle grade novel, that op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal if you don't give it a go. Good luck!