Books – A Child’s Gateway To The World!

Books provide a great outlet for children! They help them learn, they give them ideas, they teach them about different cultures, and all the while, allowing them to stay close to home until they feel they are ready to face the world! Books can help prepare children in so many ways and are always there for them if they ever need them again. Just ask yourself – how many times have you re-read a book? And why? It held your interest, it helped you solve a problem, or it just gave you joy and made you smile!

Books help children learn about success in life.

When children read books about people who succeed, give back to the community, and create a better world, they learn valuable lessons. Those books will show them how to face hurdles and win. Books will give them examples to use to model their own life around. Mom and Dad are the great role models, but reading widens their ideas of the global world around them.

Books help children to develop their interests and passions.

Children read books that are their ‘favorites.’ The book is about what is important to them. It makes them think about possibilities. When a boy reads a book about space, he begins to get ideas, learns about the planets, and how they impact his world. A girl who builds with Legos will now think about what she could build on a larger scale and play a vital role in today’s world.

Books help children learn about other interests in life.

Books are a gateway for children to learn about art, music, the great novelists and famous artists. By being able to access and read about these subjects, they will be able to begin thinking on a higher level. These types of books will help them in their studies and give them the courage to try new things and not be afraid to fail.

Books will increase their self-confidence and identity.

Reading books will lead to children being more self-confident as they go through life. They will be able to take part in any number of activities or adventures (and we all know how children ‘love’ adventure!). This will help them feel safer and stronger in today’s changing world.

Books will help children learn at all levels.

Books come in a wide variety of topics for learning. For babies and toddlers, you have picture books that help them learn numbers, colors, shapes and letters. For young children you have books that teach the ideas of sharing, helping others, and how to cope when bad things happen like a family break up or someone dies. Fiction helps develop imagination, while non-fiction gives them a sense that they are not the only ones with feelings and questions. Books are thought-provoking and provide meaning and answers for everyone.

That’s why if you have any ideas about writing books for children – start now. Begin by putting down ideas and then do your research. Ask your own children, nieces, nephews, cousins, a friend’s children – get ideas from all over. Listen to their ideas and reasons why (or why not). Even the negatives can give you wonderful ideas for books. And it does not have to be a 500-page book either! Some of the best books for children are short, with colorful pictures and easy to read words. You need to come down to their level – which means maybe going back to your own childhood for those feelings, ideas and pictures.

Don’t be afraid! Give it a shot. You might be surprised at how well it turns out. Remember, writing is an ongoing process – so don’t give up!

Reading Creates Ideas!

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

Let the “Child” in you Write!

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/

 

Important Basic Steps When Creating Children’s Books

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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