Now there's a question - do you take picture book authors seriously?
I'm inclined to think some people feel it's easy to write and illustrate a picture book.
"How easy to write only a few dozen to a hundred words, instead of thousands", someone recently stated to me.
I answered, it's more difficult than it may first seem. A children's picture book needs the same basic elements an adults book needs;
- a main character with whom the reader can identify with.
- a plot with interest that gives the main character a struggle that needs resolving, along with being a problem or difficulty a very young one could understand.
- a completely satisfying conclusion that brings the story to an ending, maybe with a twist.
- enough action and depth to bring page turning excitement throughout.
- written in a way that has impact when it's read aloud to younger ones.
- illustrations that capture the imagination, are varied and add to the story, or even tell part of the story.
All these elements should join seamlessly together and produce cries of read it again. Only then will you know you have a good picture book.
Oh! and you have to do this in only a few dozen to a hundred words!
So what are your thoughts on writing or reading children's picture books?
Are children's picture book authors to be taken seriously?
I, for one, do take children's books, authors and illustrators, seriously and it follows a fine, fine tradition of a very defined art. I also understand that children's books remain in print for decades, so it is an ongoing, as well as noble profession. It is also the first introduction in a child's world to literature and the imagination. I wouldn't begin to be able to create it and I find those that do have a gift.