Picking the Right Words for a Picture Book by VS GrenierFirst, let me say there are four types of picture books.
Story Books: Most of us grew up on this traditional picture book. This type of picture book is by far the most popular and is usually fiction based. You will have a series of events with strong character development. Story books tend to have more text on each page vs. other types of picture books.
Concept Books: This type of picture book helps to promote a child’s understanding. You see this type of picture book for toddlers or as a “My First” book series. These books can be fiction or nonfiction and have very few words. The illustrations tend to be the focus.
Novelty Books: A great example of this type of book is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. This picture book relies on some short of gimmick to tell the book’s story.
Modern Picture Books: This type of picture book is a lot like the story picture book, but uses both the illustrations and context to tell the full story. This type of book is more character driven vs. plot driven and is supported by the illustrations.
Now here is where the hard part comes in. All picture books have one thing in common. The format, also known as the page count (24 to 32 pages). This tight format only gives you so much room to tell your story. It is important your wording also keeps the readers interest, the pacing of the storyline and can stand on its own. A great way to do this is by making a mock-up of your book. This way you can have a sense of how your story will build and flow and if you have under or over developed your characters. I did this with my book, Babysitting SugarPaw.
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