One of my writer friends lately went to the library for a whole afternoon
and read over 30 picture books. She did a reading marathon of sorts and then
reviewed all of the books that she read.
I thought this was such a great idea for aspiring picture book writers that I
thought I would ponder the topic today. In order for you to write picture
books, you literally have to read hundreds of picture books. The reason for
this is because as you read the picture books, you’ll be able to start to become
aware of patterns of words, how they are written, and how the illustrations
work to make your words come to life for children.
I even type out the scripts for picture books that I really like. I do this so
that I could get a feel for the words and how the manuscript was written. I
also try to imagine how the author conceived of the plot and how the main
character solved his/her problem in the story. This is so important for the
picture book story to really work properly.
So, I think that once a month or so, I will do a reading marathon of picture
books as well. I will go to the library and spend a couple of hours reading
picture books. That way, I’ll be able to see how they are written, which
publishers publish what kinds of topics and which topics really appeal to me.
This is time worth spending.
And it is such a pleasure to read such books. I love them. They are cute,
sweet, and colourful. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
So, if you are a beginning picture book writer, spend a lot of time reading
picture books. It is a lot of fun and very rewarding.
~ Happy Reading!