I find your discussion about children’s books fascinating and correct.
In spending the afternoon doing my favorite thing – strolling through my local book store – I saw some great books that I have a feeling kids will really love.
The first one that caught my eye was Doreen Cronin’s The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure. Now considering my age and era of enjoyment, I immediately connected to The Chicken Squad, not only because it brought back memories of my favorite TV show, The Mod Squad, but because the chickens on the cover reminded me so much of several of my friends. There are some great illustrations in the book, it reads very easy, and my 7-year old God-daughter enjoyed it immensely!! And I consider her a 1st-rate book critic as she’s always finding her way to books racks no matter where we go!
According to the School Library Journal, Jennifer Ward’s Mama Built a Little Nest is another great choice in books. Once I found it, I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though it is recommended for 4-8 year olds! The illustrations are beautiful and it gives children a lot of information about birds, while teaching them through the use of poetry, interesting and descriptive facts on birds and their nest-building skills.
Helping children learn to love books is easy. There are so many interesting ways to present life to them and help them learn valuable lessons that will benefit them as they grow older. Books give children another perspective to think about, or helps them to solve problems which will be helpful as they face different situations in life.
Writing books help children get ready for the ‘big world to come’ before they go out into it. They get to use their imagination, stimulate their sensory awareness, and get ready for taking part in the ‘grown-up’ world of Mom and Dad.
Books can also help kids become more confident, discover who they are and who they want to become, and how diversity is an important part of meeting people and finding friends. Books can help develop compassion, understand values, and build community.
Got an idea for a children’s book? Then start today! Build an outline, develop a story line, but most of all – use your own experiences to teach lessons and help children grow, learn, and become the best they can be. It may not happen right away, but with time, dedication and love, you will soon have your story. Ready to publish? Let us know and we will be glad to help you on that journey.
Books are highways to other worlds – full of fascination, learning, and growth.
Books take you to places you have never been before. It’s like seeing the world without ever leaving your favorite chair.
Books help you build ‘yourself’ to the next level. Books can inspire, help improve your self-confidence, help show you the similarities in others, let you know people have problems similar to yours – it really rounds out your view of life.
Books help you communicate and share. Someone may mention an idea they have and because you read something like that idea in a book, you can tell the person what you read and then talk about if it the idea is right, wrong, or you need to do more reading to form a better opinion or option.
Books help you open up your creative energies and boost your imagination. It helps you see that anything is ‘possible.’ It all depends on how you go about it, and what you want out of it in the end. That’s how inventors made better products than the originals. That’s how you make mac and cheese different. All from reading that stretches your mind.
Books are ‘cool.’ You don’t have to spent every minute with your nose in one. Books will ;help give you a wide array of topics to use when talking with people. Books help you find ‘common ground’ that is a great building block of friendships.
To help your child get interested in books:
- Read with them. Show them it is ok, no matter what your age is, to take some time to read. By reading with them you are making ‘special time’ with your children to show them you care about them.
- Pick books that interest everyone. Just reading one type of book can get a bit boring. When you mix it up, it helps your children think about things and gives you a chance to help them ‘see’ the world in a more informative way.
- When you read with your children, try to make a play out of it. Think about what the character looks like and then act it out for a bit. It will bring laughter into your time together and again – stir the imagination.
- Books are a good way to always be learning and growing. There are many genres of books – fiction, non-fiction, thrillers, sci-fi – and each can help ideas grow, improve life, make relationships better, and really help add to the ‘specialness’ of each person.
Take advantage of reading all you can, when you can. You don’t have to pick up a physical book each time you want to read either. The Internet, book stores, and many libraries let you read ‘online.’ So if you don’t feel like going out to get a book, just let your fingers and the Internet find the book you want. Want to try a new flavor of tea? That would be a great time to brew the tea, get a book, and then sit and enjoy both.
Books are not just for children – but for all ages! Start enjoying the mysteries of the Orient today. Build your first space ship. Cook your first casserole. Dream about where you want to live when you graduate college. What kind of work would really be right for you. All of this can be found in books. All it takes is a few minutes of your time and soon you will be on top of the mountain, or deep down on the ocean floor. It may even inspire you to write a children’s book. You can do anything because the choice is all yours!
Books have always been a way of life for me. When I needed to think, be by myself, and try to make sense of the world around me, books are there. Even today, books take me to places I may never get a chance to visit. They allow me to see life through another window. I can go to parallel universes, tropical rain forests, learn lessons from the history of ages, and even find ways to redefine problems or make better decision.
That is why writing children’s books is so important. It gives a person the ability to take a lesson they have learned and put it into simple words that a child can grasp and understand. I was strolling through the bookstore the other day, and came across some good examples.
– Llama, Llama, Red Pajama – Anna Dwedney – a great book to help children get over the fear of bedtime and being alone in the dark. Even though Mama Llama was not in the room, Mama is never far away, so bedtime is safe time.
– First Words – Roger Priddy – a great book that can help your baby or toddler learn words that match bright-colored pictures. There is also one for learning colors and animals. A great way to help them learn and grow.
– Diary of a Worm – Cronin & Bliss – lets children see that it is ok to put down their thoughts to make sense of their world. It is a great book to help children accept things and people who are different and see the world through different eyes.
– Where The Mountain Meets The Moon – Lin – the story of a young girl who goes on a quest to change her family’s fortune, the new friends she meets, and the valuable lessons she learns. It weaves magic that draws you in and keeps you coming back for more.
All of these books help children grow and face the world with confidence. These books ‘feed’ their minds, make them think, which creates a variety of ideas and understanding.
Thinking of writing a children’s book? Then look to your own childhood. Find something that helped you learn, grow, discover. Just put it down on paper and keep writing until you finish. Then you can go back and edit it so that it is easy to read and makes sense to a child. Do you like to draw? Then start drawing and once you are done, go back and add the words. Believe me, a story will happen, so be patient and steady.
Do you have children or grandchildren? Then spend some time with them and watch what they do, say and how they look at things. Put your reactions down on paper by trying to re-create the day. A story is brewing in there somewhere! Whether it ends up being funny, how to teach them a new skill, or how to solve a problem, your writings will not go to waste.
Becomes a reader! Reading what others wrote, looking at their styles, seeing how they framed ideas – this will help you create your own ideas that can blossom into great children’s books. Lots of books are on the same topic, but it is how you tell it that matters. You want to make children come back for more or learn to go to books for help, ideas, imagine bigger, or just for fun.
Above all, do not rush the process. Really take the time to go back over the day or event, thinking about every little detail. That is why you cannot do it all at once. Every time you re-read it, you will find something to add, something to change, or a better way of saying something. In the end, you will be glad you took it slow and steady. Your book will have depth, meaning, and will be a great help to a child was they begin their journey through books and life.
For more ideas on story lines for children’s books, see http://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/sep/26/michaelrosen.writing.booksforchildrenandteenagers
Experience is a great teacher! Events where you learn can be used to better yourself as you grow and mature. These events can also be of help to others so that they can get different ideas on how to deal with life and its ups-and-downs. It can also serve as a way for you to develop your writing talents and give back to those that need.
Think back to some great times in your life, as well as times that were not so great. Did you learn a new skill? Did you learn a lesson that helped you at some other time in your life? Do you think you can help someone else with what you learned? Children love to learn. They are like sponges. Anything you say. You can be sure children will wonder about it. Your children’s book could turn into a great way to help them find their way as the grow.
That is what writing is all about. Telling stories that can make children happy, let them learn, or just stretch their mind into ‘uncharted’ territory. Writing is a trade that you have to work at. All the best writers – they wrote for years until they got it right. Even if their first book was a success, it did not happen as soon as they put ideas down on paper. They read what other people wrote about. They listened to other ideas. And they saw ‘possibilities.’
The best way to start is to figure out if the book you want to write will fill a need. Yes, your need may have been written many times over but other authors, but what can ‘you’ bring to the book that is not like all the others? You need to let your mind wander and look at the side roads that other writers may have missed or did not really bother with. It is in the ‘hidden’ that you will find your diamond in the rough. Your childhood will be a great way to get your need in the children’s book arena.
Another way to write a book is to decide if you are really the ‘best’ person to write the book. Look at your idea. Did it happen to you? Do you know someone who went through a similar idea? Maybe you need to ‘buddy’ with someone in order to get the best-of-the-best put down on paper. Maybe you engage with others on social media. How many followers do you have? Do you think your book would attract more friends and/or followers? Once your book ready, you will need to know that there are people out there who ‘want’ to read your book. If you are writing children’s books, then you need to make sure that children will ‘want’ to read your book.
Write no matter what you ‘feel.’ Don’t wait for someone to tell you it is ‘ok’ to write. If that is what you want to do, then start now. Even if you write 10 sentences a day. By the end of the week you will have 70 sentences. They may or may not make sense, but it will show you what you thought about each time you wrote. It will help you see the ‘child’ in your writing.
Don’t be afraid of failure. I know I’ve said this before, but it is true. Failure is a way to clear the clutter. Failure can help you see new ideas. Failure makes you ‘think’ more. When you think more, you open your mind to fertile ground that was hidden away. You begin to see why your children’s book is important. Failure keeps you going until it is complete. It is a task you have set out to do and if you are sure in your heart, you will reach the end and have a great children’s book.
Don’t wait until tomorrow – start today. Remember the tortoise and the hare? Slow and steady wins the race. Slow and steady is what great children’s books are all about. Do you want to try to connect with others who write children’s books. Some good information can be found at http://www.scbwi.org/
Ideas for children’s books come from all over. Ideas spring from family, friends, and other children. Ideas grow from reading books, plays, and poetry. There are even ideas if you look back at your own childhood days. You want children to learn all that is new. You want to help them build good habits. Most of all, you want them to have fun while reading. Making your children’s books interesting, exciting, and simple will help turn your stories into tomorrow’s classic favorites!
Here are a few simple steps to start with:
- Read, read, and read even more! Reading what other writers have done will help you focus. Reading what others write will show you how they took their idea and made them kid-friendly. Don’t be shy! It’s a great way to brainstorm for future books.
- Find out why children read certain books. What is so special about them? Look for things other writers have in common. Review their characters, favorite subjects, how they shaped their ‘plot.’ Do other books make children think better? Do other books blend fantasy with reality? Reading other writers will give you more ideas to make your own idea even better!
- What do you want your children’s books to talk about? Do you have an idea to help babies learn better? Do you have a great way to get a child to like a new idea? Put your ideas down on paper. Work your ideas from start to finish. Create an outline to keep you on track for characters, story lines, and endings.
- Once your ideas are set out on paper, what age-range do you want to attract? For babies, they tend to like books that are soft, full of color, with lots of pictures. For a 10-year old who needs help with math problems, an easy, step-by-step guide will be a great success.
- Remember to keep your ideas simple. When children read, they read from their own point of view. Let your story reflect one point of view. If there is a conflict or problem, make it easy – but not too easy. Make sure the lessons they learn can be used over again at some other time in their life.
- Above all, do not be afraid to fail. When we fail, we push ourselves to see what we did wrong. When we fail we begin to think about how to make the story better the next time. Writers write every day, about anything and everything. Most writers did not start out with a best seller. Keep trying, keep writing, and let the ideas flow!
For more tips and information on ideas and how to start writing children’s books, visit http://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2013/jul/10/top-writing-tips-childrens-books-editors
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Welcome to all who dream.
As writers, our minds work like the Native American dreamcatcher, where positive dreams run through the hole in the center of the dreamcatcher and negative dreams are put out of action. In the writer’s case, dreams and thoughts lead to inspired great works. It is my role to publish those dreams.
Have you ever observed nature or other people? Creativity comes from our dreams and experiences in life. What starts an unconscious burst of creativity inside you that defines love, sadness, joy, or provides answers to questions about the universe or life as we see it? Is it people, places, things or events? One may be inspired by remembering stories heard years ago; another by watching a storm forming around nearby mountains.
Have you been inspired by a barge on a river or watching animals play outside? Dreams and thoughts from a long drive at night may become a story for you. What comes into your mind when deer come out at night to feed at twilight; suspense, mystery? A story is the way a writer captures a dream or thought to share with others.
I am looking forward to reading a story that is based upon dreams and thoughts that inspired you to catch that dream and write it down for the rest of us. Become a “Dream Catcher” soon.
Stan Lewis Publisher of Your Dreams