Sculpting a Picture Book (& A Double Giveaway!)

I’ve wrestled with my fair share of picture book manuscripts. A “brilliant” idea at 9 a.m. that falls apart by noon. That wonderful first sentence that pops up while making coffee, only to fade to confusion an hour later in the shower. An entire book theme that carries through perfectly, …

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DAD AND THE DINOSAUR dazzles — for readers and writers

Dad and the Dinosaur

Recurring elements are one of my favorite features in picture books. Picture books are shorter affairs, so the writer has to fit a plot into a tighter-than-normal space. To make the story hang together and feel like a coherent whole, there often are words, phrases or themes that repeat throughout …

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Engagement in One Sentence

It’s killing me, it’s genius…Patricia MacLachlan wrote a perfect nonfiction picture book using only one sentence. Well, technically there’s two question marks, but still…The Iridescence of Birds is a biography of Henri Matisse that manages to convey most of his childhood environment, his relationship with his mother, his interests, his personality …

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