|This is the best picture I got of her. She is in the scarf.|
She mentioned hearing somewhere that a person should read 100 picture books before they try to write one. Now, I am sure in my time I have read at least that many. But it can't hurt to do it again.
I decided to read the 100 books and pay special attention to the writing. Normally I pay most of the attention to the illustrations so this was a bit of exercise for me.
I started checking books out at the library and reading them. I picked books randomly off the shelves making sure not to judge by the illustration or how well known the book is.
I haven't gotten through the whole hundred but here are some of my over all observations so far.
First: I noticed that I don't like a lot of picture books.
Second: Books that have gotten, or are getting, a lot of attention usually deserve it, especially when compared to all the other books out there.
Third: The shorter the text the better I like it. When I look at a picture book I imagine reading it out loud to a child. If it's too wordy I don't think I would get through with out skipping parts. The shorter tighter stories also felt more fun and less weighed down by words.
I also enjoyed the books that have a narrative story rather than those that were more of a list type book. But I think the list books tended to have a better rhythm and rhyme scheme in their writing.
Here are some of my favorites so far.
I felt like each of these books have fun tight text, told a great story, and worked well with the illustrations.
What kinds of things have any of you discovered about picture book writing?
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