Nancy's Books

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Let’s Talk Picture Books, Part 5

In earlier blogs, I have mentioned that editors did not often swoon when receiving submissions written in rhyme. Often, writers force the rhyme at the expense of the plot or add unnecessary words to keep the rhyme. Exceptions are always possible so just because it hasn’t been done often doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

Stories about inanimate objects that come to life are difficult to write and difficult to nab a contract, also. Two train stories have become popular: THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD and THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE. THE GIVING TREE is also a classic about an inanimate object, but a book about a window that won’t open or a rock that can’t roll will probably not garner more than a rejection letter. Children want stories in which action impacts plot, where something happens. It is difficult to develop an inanimate object as the main character in a picture book. This works better in videos where sound and motion work together to build the character. THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT is also another example that inanimate objects can work, but it doesn’t seem to happen often in the publishing world.
Dolls and toys as the main characters can work. Children relate to these, such as the VELVETEEN RABBIT. Dolls look like people and it’s easy to imagine them become real.
What works best as main characters are children and animals, because a young child relates to both. By attributing human frailties to animals make them seem real. Kids identify with the characters’ weaknesses and mistakes. Many popular picture books showcase imperfect characters that grow and learn. Engaging, humorous stories that inspire and can withstand multiple readings are always searched for by editors and agents. 
Call for Submissions for Young and Adult Writers:
Kiki Magazine is an independent magazine owned and operated by women who care about girls. Kiki uses the college fashion design curriculum to tap into girls' creativity, including business, fine art, craft, history, world culture, math, and even chemistry. The publication accepts submissions of illustrations, artwork, photos, or articles from all ages.
Submission guidelines at

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