A Macro Pondering of Picture Books

   Picture books are wonderfully crafted books by authors who are very
   gifted word smiths. The reason for this is that a picture book is very short,
   and it has to portray a concise and cute story line with rising and falling
   action. This is hard enough even for a novelist of a middle grade book to do.
   But for a picture book this is much harder.
   I have now written over ten picture books for kids 3 to 8 years old. I have
   been trying to craft the story lines for each of these stories very carefully. I
   am currently writing a nonfictional picture book about a much more serious
   issue for children. And I am finding it really difficult to write about serious
   issues for children.
   Most picture books are written for adults who will be reading for young
   children who are non-readers. So, the audience is multi-layered. To that end,
   picture books combine words and pictures. The pictures are there to entice
   the non-reader to listen and to help construct meaning from the words.
   Picture books are traditionally directed toward young children. 
   Picture books are divided into two categories.  First, there are books that
   are aimed at the non-reader. Second, there are picture books which are
   written for either the emergent, or newly established reader. Published
   picture book, whether hard or softcover, are usually thirty-two pages long.
   However, when you are typing your picture manuscript, it will be
   considerably shorter since it is always double spaced with one-inch borders
   all around. Therefore, you could probably fit thirty-two pages into about 3 or
   4 pages.
   Most beginning picture book writers overwrite. Some tend to submit 1,000
   words manuscripts to editors. This makes most picture book editors stand
   back and almost automatically reject a manuscript. So, it is very important
   for picture book authors, especially beginning ones, to really watch how they
   use words in their manuscripts. Every word counts. So, make it really precise
   and vivid!
   ~ Happy Writing.
   ~ Irene


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