Jill Esbaum

Jill Esbaum

Jill Esbaum is the author of many picture books. Her latest is If a T. Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party. Other recent titles are Elwood Bigfoot– Wanted: Birdie Friends!, Teeny Tiny Toady, and I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo! Coming soon: Frankenbunny. Learn more at http://jillesbaum.com.

The Story Within a Story

As a reader, the story-within-a-story format has always appealed to me. As a writer, I know this format is difficult to pull off. Because I’m working on one of my own, I pulled three from my bookshelves to take a closer look. How did their authors handle voice, pacing, tension …

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Lucky Us!

My latest picture book crush? Lucky, by British author/illustrator David Mackintosh. Happily, David was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book. Also, ARTWORK! How much do we love that?!   Story synopsis, from the title page: When Leo’s mother announces there will be a surprise at dinner, Leo …

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Breaking the Rules

I’ve found a new superhero to adore. His name? Superworm. His kooky rhyming story is written by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Most character-driven picture book stories follow a traditional format:      a) Main character has a problem (or goal)      b) Things happen, repeatedly, to keep him …

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No Guts, No Glory

This is a story-behind-the-story post, but it’s also for those of you who are waffling over attending a writing conference in 2015. Consider this your sign. Why? Because wondrous things happen at conferences, specifically SCBWI conferences. Just ask my friend Sarvinder Naberhaus, who submitted a stack of poems for an editorial …

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Herman & Rosie – Two for the Show (plus an interview with Gus Gordon)

Even though hundreds of character-driven picture books are published every year, great ones are still a relatively rare thing. They need a likable/relatable main character, a compelling story, emotional resonance, a distinctive voice, etc., etc., etc. It’s only occasionally that lo, those many elements magically mesh to create something special. …

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