A few weeks back, while giving a talk at Austin’s Writing Barn, Chronicle’s Ariel Richardson held up this little charmer by author/illustrator Claudia Rueda: Ariel didn’t have to show many pages before I was hooked. By the time I got my hands on the book an hour later, my expectations were awfully …
Ahhh, October. My favorite month, wrapped in the cozy blankie of my favorite season. Crisp air, blue skies, fire-shaded leaves, harvest, apple pies. Lots to love. One new thing I love is – surprise – a picture book, one I discovered in a Wisconsin bookstore while between presentations this past …
Some stories stay with you. I don’t remember exactly when I first heard the story of Wilma Rudolph. It was probably sometime in grade school. But I do remember the details of her life. Wilma grew up in a low-income family with 22 children in Clarksville, Tennessee, a segregated town. …
My last post discussed ideas to shorten the text of a picture book manuscript. But today I’m thinking about longer picture books–particularly recent nonfiction biographies which go beyond the regular 32-page format. For example, my new picture book FRIENDS FOR FREEDOM was expanded to 40 pages, and two of my upcoming pictures books are slated for 40 and 48 pages.
It seems they’re not that unusual. More and more nonfiction picture books are bumped into the 40s, often due to back matter pages which might include a myriad of items such as a bibliography, timeline, source notes, and other notes.
And then there’s JOSEPHINE: THE DAZZLING LIFE OF JOSEPHINE BAKER by Patricia Hruby Powell, a picture book biography that clocks in at 104 pages. Now that’s a BUMP! If you’ve read this award-winning book, you know the text is energetic, emotional, and exquisite. And Christian Robinson’s illustrations are outstanding.