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