"Everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book." - Stéphane Mallarmé
I set the goal this year to review one book each week to support fellow KidLit writers. I am one week ahead with 18 posted on Amazon. I have not, however, been as productive with sharing those reviews here. In fact, I have not been particularly productive with my writing this month.
What have I been doing?
Falling in love with my new baby!
Love Is (2017) by Diane Adams, art by Claire Keane
This book is about the love that grows as a girl learns to care for a duckling. With text like “holding something fragile” and “noisy midnight feedings,” it was easy to draw a connection to my new little guy. I fell in love with the poetic text and tender illustrations. It is also a great book to teach my daughter about caring for and loving her baby brother!
Raising an imaginative preschooler!
I Have a Balloon (2017) by Ariel Bernstein, art by Scott Magoon
My 3-year old’s favorite game is called “What do you like to do?” in which toys ask one another this very question to kick off some imaginative play. My daughter always selects a few toys and asks which I would like to be. Just like the characters in Bernstein's clever, debut book, my daughter always wants whichever toy I choose. After hearing my selection, she says, “that’s my favorite” and gives me a different toy! We also relate to the book’s disclaimer that it is not about sharing as my daughter reclaims all her old baby toys brought out for the new little one. In addition to being relatable on multiple levels, I love the strong character voices that are developed through dialogue only and the illustrations that are perfect for this humorous book.
Troubleshooting bedtime drama!
Go Sleep in Your Own Bed! (2017)
by Candace Fleming, art by Lori Nichols
If only our bedtime woes were as easily solved as those in Fleming’s book! I love the illustrations (those end pages!), onomatopoeia, repetition, energy, and read-aloudability of this guessing game book.
Things To Do (2017) by Elaine Magliaro, art by Catia Chien
Beautiful, concrete imagery explores unique perspectives of various objects a girl encounters throughout her day. This wonderful collection of poetry begs readers to personify everyday objects and consider what things they might do, which is a great activity to spark any writer’s imagination! With very little time to get BIC (butt in chair) these days, I’m grasping on to any form of “writing” I can – including collecting ideas from everyday experiences and studying the craft by reading as many picture books as I can with my little ones.
There are so many amazing resources out there for aspiring children’s book writers. Here are 5 that I love!
Kate Messner’s Picture Book Math & Why You Should Write Something New
Kate starts with 365 “flashes of ideas” and breaks down how many become published books. The take-away, WRITE!
Miranda Paul’s Path to Publication Checklist
I’m at 50 and counting...Next time my daughter and I use play-doh, I’ll check off #32. And watching the Boss Baby film will knock off #47.
Tara Lazar’s Storystorm (previously PiBoIdMo)
Tara’s month-long picture book idea challenge is a great way to brainstorm ideas. She has also compiled in one place, links to all her amazing guest author blog posts from 2012-2014 with more coming soon.
Beth Ferry’s My Euphoria at Discovering Anaphora: The Use of Literary Devices in Picture Books
Literary devices are great tools for picture book authors. I had no idea I was writing anadiplosis poems to my high school boyfriend! And in Part 2, Beth suggests writers steer clear of periphrasis!
Goodreads Picture Book Lists
Great lists organized by publication year with approximately 100 books each year (2015-2018).
Want additional KidLit resources, click here.
Want to know more about the process of writing for children, click here.
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