Get Ahead Kids Logo Get Ahead Kids Facebook Page Get Ahead Kids Twitter Page Get Ahead Kids Blog Maria Charlton Maria Charlton  
 

Get Ahead Kids® Feature Article
Get Ahead Kids - Vol. 4, No. 6 - November/December 2012

« Back to Articles

Are You Planning a Picture Book Over the Summer Break?

By Hazel Edwards

Over summer, some educators and parents aim to write the stories they have been collecting based on anecdotes from and about the children in their lives.

These picture books may be amateur productions, created for the love of a single child, or aimed at a wider audience. Photographs or other illustrations can be used in varied formats including e-books.

Mistakenly, many assume picture books are easy to write, so here are some hints adapted from my latest book 'Authorpreneurship:The Business of Creativity' on how to tackle a specialist niche which has a wide, international readership and often a long reading life, but which is technically challenging.

Initial Questions

  • Ask yourself why you are writing it & be honest!
  • Who is your audience, a specific childor the child within you?
  • Is a picture book an appropriate concept for the target age group?
  • Does it have the potential for imaginative visuals?
  • Is the text simple?
  • Has the logic been established?

Hints for Writing Picture Books

  • Concept-what is the story about & is it a big enough concept for 32 pages? What is the underlying conflict, which provides the drama or tension?
  • Title-consider the sound & length of the title & test it on the target age group.
  • Limit the number of named characters or distinguish them quickly e.g. Lulubelle & Lucybelle are too similar.
  • Be consistent in your story telling.
  • Storyboard the text across a 32 page picture book, to indicate the variety of visuals that are needed.
  • Are there any challenges for the illustrator e.g. make children uni-sex.
  • What formats do you want the final book-print, e-book or audio.
  • How many words? There are no rules, but under 200 words is a guide. Picture books with no text can be very emotionally involving.
  • Get the text right first. Don't organise an illustrator who is family or friend, as often the publisher prefers to commission illustrators.
    Tense -present tense is shorter & more immediate.
  • Concepts should be presented in child, not adult vocabulary e.g. you are good at making things, rather than 'you are inventive' unless this 'inventor' term is central to the story.
  • Show, not tell-rather than say the character is inventive, give three outrageous examples of what the character has made e.g. upside down pet-feeder, goggles for onion chopping without crying.
  • Dated clichès like 'pleased as punch' convey little for younger readers.
  • Use specifics-on Friday, rather than one day.
  • Great to include 'noisy' words, but make them easy to read.
  • Check the logic-there needs to be an internal logic in a fantasy.
  • Make every verb count eg spluttered rather than moved.
  • Is a picture book the most appropriate format for this concept? Maybe it needs to be an illustrated story or animation.
  • Will the story translate into other cultures & other mediums?
  • Aim for page-turning quality & interest.
  • Enjoy the process.
  • See how many words you can now take out.

About Hazel Edwards

Author and National Reading Ambassador Hazel Edwards is best known for her picture book series 'There's a Hippopotamus on our Roof Eating Cake' and her picture book 'Feymouse' has just been produced as an App by Blue Quoll.
More Information

More Information

Hazel Edwards
National Reading Ambassador 2012
www.hazeledwards.com



Views:

Share |


Get Ahead Kids Magazine



Advertisement Label
 

Fantastic Reader Giveaways!

Get Ahead Kids Giveaway

Fantastic Family Giveaways!

2 x LeapPad3 Tablets
3 x 'What's up with Eleanor? Medikidz Explain JIA' Books

Click here to enter!

Get Ahead Kids Giveaway Family Facebook Giveaways!

3 x Googly Eyes Board Games

Click to LIKE Get Ahead Kids!

Activity Zone

 
Get Ahead Kids Giveaway Crosswords, Scrambles, Colouring In fun for everyone.

Click here for fun
 

Advertisers Directory

 
SchoolChoice.com.au hey dee ho music I Can Read System InParenting Newcastle Grammar School

About Get Ahead Kids

About Get Ahead Kids Magazine®
Press Room
Advertise in Get Ahead Kids Magazine®
Advertisers Media Kit
Article Contribution Guidelines
Contact Get Ahead Kids Magazine®
Privacy Policy
Internet Policy
Site Map

Get Ahead Kids Magazine

Spotlight Celebrity Interviews
Giveaways
Book & Product Reviews
Research
Distribution
Testimonials

Stay Connected

Share |

© . All Rights Reserved.