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It's Easy To Write A Picture Book. Writing a GOOD Picture Book, On The Other Hand...


PigBalloons v5 withcopy600

I have too many picture book ideas (I partly blame Tara Lazar & her PiBoIdMo 2011 month :-) and have been working on half a dozen picture book story texts over the past year: rewriting a zillion times & dumping ideas that just don't work. Anyone who thinks picture book stories are easy to write is NUTS. Or rather...it's easy to write a picture book. It's very difficult to write a GOOD picture book. It makes me appreciate Michael Ian Black's wonderful I'M BORED story all that much more.

Anyway, I've stayed sane by plowing ahead and doing drawings for picture books that don't exist yet. Less pressure, helps me improve my craft, and who knows? I may turn some of these into full-blown projects someday. I've also been reading Ann Whitford Paul's Writing Picture Books, Harold Underdown's Complete Idiot's Guide To Publishing Children's Books, and Cheryl B. Klein's Second Sight: An Editor's Talks On Writing, Revising & Publishing Books For Children And Young Adults for inspiration.

Anyway, I decided to do the drawing at the top of this post because I liked the pig character in one of my recent Daily Drawings (see http://DebbieOhi.com for more of my Daily Drawings):

CareerPig9withtext copy600v2

I'm participating in KidLitArt.com's Picture Book Dummy challenge for inspiration as I continue to work on my own picture book stories AND continuing to read as many good picture books as I can. Any recommendations for well-written picture books?


Reader Comments (7)

I recently came across I HAD A FAVORITE DRESS, which is quickly becoming dog-eared. It's cute, funny, and damn it, I wish I had written it!

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracey Baptiste

I just finished Anne Whitford Paul's book last night. I learned so much. Children's Picture Books: How to Self-Publish Your Way to Success by Shari Faden Donahue was good, too. If You Give a Pig a Pancake, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, etc. by Laura Numeroff are some of my favorite children's picture books.

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRaychelle Muhammad

Hi Debbie, let me express my respect to all your efforts on writing field. Just in case you want to try make a gorgeous cover for your digital Ebook or even course, take a look at this site (it is not an affiliate offer): http://www.myecovermaker.com

I am sure you and other writer will find it extremely useful.


January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArt

Thanks for the #PBDummy shout-out, Debbie!

One of my current favorites is A Visitor for Bear, by Bonny Becker (and I think there's a sequel out now).

In my opinion, the best picture book writers are poets--not necessarily the rhyming sort, but the sort who know the value of each and every word, and are stubborn (or crazy) enough to spend months searching for the right ones.

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie Adamson

I just wanted to say that the pig's a charmer! I hope to see more of him.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnnabelle

I love Jez Alborough's books. The expressions on the faces of the animals in 'Watch Out! Big Bro's Coming' make me laugh every time. My kids insist that I read this one with all the voices. :) I also love Kevin Henkes' mouse books. There's so much fun humor tucked into the details.

January 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShannon Popkin

Hi Debbie. Love your stuff. I'm a great fan of anything illustrated by Axel Scheffler and recently came across what I'm told was his first picture book, "You're A Hero, Daley B", written by Jon Blake. It's an absolute one-off, to my mind a classic. I'm also a fan of all the Julia Donaldson books, but who isn't?

November 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJane Greig

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