Category Archives: Children’s Literature

Picture Books

I’m trying something new this year: writing for children. I have two of my own you know, and I read to them a lot. To give you an idea, every two weeks we check out about 20 books out of the library, plus we have our own collection. Currently they’re stored in rectangular laundry baskets because my son is really a monkey and the bookshelves were a sure-fire way to land him in the ER.

For years, I’ve been wanting to write children’s stories. I’ve had niggling ideas here and there and I jotted them down someplace safe, but lately I’ve had a lot more hitting me. Some of them have difficult to work with, the older the idea, the harder to implement. My newer ideas are much easier to work into story form. Maybe that means my brain has processed which ideas are actually going to work or not. Either way, I’ve been writing.

I wrote two the other night, and what’s interesting to me, is my process is different than writing adult speculative fiction. My spec fic process is all written, either on paper or on the computer. My children’s story writing is verbal. I mesh an idea around in my head, talk it out in story form for my daughter, editing as I tell it, and based on her reactions, I then write it down.

Granted the stories aren’t perfect, but I like them. The weekends are turning into my time for working on the children’s fiction because of the time I spend with my kids. I think it’s a good process. It’s working.

And for those of you following my Write1Sub1 progress, I’m not including my picture books in that count only because I’m not ready to submit them. I need a lot more practice. I’m participating on the Absolute Write forums since there are more picture book writers there than on my home base Forward Motion. I don’t have time to join another critique group, so this is the closest I’m going to come. I can exchange a few crits there as I post my own stories.

It’s good to try new things. And it helps when that new thing is enjoyable and possibly something I might be good at.

Have any of you written picture books? Or, tried something new lately?

Reading with the Girl

I’m not ready to write for children, I have much more reading to do. My four year old daughter is helping me with that.  Here are our library books this week.

1. Princess Hyacinth (the surprising tale of a girl who floated) by Florence Parry Heide – true to its name, this story takes your child on a surprising adventure of a princess who floated. In a very easy to read conversation tone, appropriate to a four year old, we follow Princess Hyacinth through the pains she has to endure and the happiness she finds by going out there and getting it.  The girl – loved it. Continuous “why?” and eager page turning.

2. The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble – a cultural story about a girl and the trouble she gets into with her horses. There is a seperation from family, and a special relationship with a talking horse, and a mystical transformation at the end. Long in reading and tested the girl’s patience, but she really was just eager to understand what happened. The illustrations are wonderful and cultural and the girl was fascinated by the beautiful horses.

Tune in next time to Reading with the Girl.