The Fascinating World of Children’s Books
By Jo Linsdell
Jo Linsdell is an award-winning blogger and freelance writer living in Rome , Italy . She is also the author of several books including the popular Italian for Tourists, A Guide to Weddings in Italy and the best-selling children’s picture book Out and About at the Zoo. Her latest book Fairy May was released on 1st February 2013. You can find out more about her at www.JoLinsdell.com
The world of children’s books is a friendly and fun place to be. Children’s writers are generally people who aim to enlighten and excite children. They will go the extra mile if it means getting a book into the hands of a child and helping them in their reading adventures. Knowing that your book may be the first a young reader encounters gives you that extra motivation to make sure it’s of the highest quality.
The joy of hearing back from your readers is also that extra bit special. Whilst it’s always nice to hear back from readers about what they thought about your work, when it comes from a child the value of their words some how means that little bit more.
When writing a children’s book you need to go back mentally to when you were young and get in touch with your inner child. In my case, as the mother of two small children, it’s not hard to connect with my target audience. I’m lucky to have a constant font of inspiration. I get a lot of my ideas from playing with my kids and from watching them play. It allows me to see inside the way that their brains work, what they like and don’t like and even get a rough idea of why.
I don’t have a writing schedule. As a full-time mum I grab time when I can. Sometimes this means involving the kids directly in my projects. My 5-year-old is particularly good at giving his opinion on text and illustrations. That’s the great thing about kids. They are very honest when it comes to voicing their opinions on things. If something is not right and needs changing you can be sure that they will point it out to you.
Writing for children is fun and eye-opening at the same time. Although you can get quite far on your own childhood memories, it’s important to get in touch with your audience. Children today are different from those when you were young. The world has changed since then and therefore so has the expectations of your audience. This doesn’t mean that classic tales won’t still be popular but it does mean that you may have to find a way of making them suitable for current generations.
The number of ebooks read by children is growing at a fast rate. This means that as children’s authors we need to consider making our books available in different formats.
Writing for children is fascinating. It makes you see the world from a different point of view. It makes you simplify life. It makes you aware of how the world is changing around us. It makes being a writer all the more fun!
Thank you so much Jo for sharing your thoughts on children’s books. I look forward to talking to you again in the future.