Guide A Picture Book without Pictures

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Off We Go! Little, Brown, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? Blue Sky, Owl Moon. Philomel, Walter Mayes. HarperResource, Lois Ehlert.

Picture Books

Pie in the Sky. Waiting for Wings. Color Zoo. Good selection. A lot of what you put in, you should take out. Limited palette, clean and bright and simple. Donald Crews. Greenwillow, Freight Train. Type should not just be slapped into a space but should be considered by the artist as part of the art; art and type must work together. My first reaction to the question is that a picture book, in many respects, should be treated no differently than an adult novel, a science-fiction novel, a romance novel, a mystery or even a nonfiction biography. At the center, first and foremost, should be a strong character, a character the reader can relate to and care about throughout the story.

If not, the reader will slam the book down and walk away. Of course, what makes a picture book unique is, obviously, the addition of pictures. But pretty pictures will not and should not carry the whole book. The reader will immediately see through that and once again put the book down. It is only in books where the words and pictures are married perfectly, where each is dependent on the other, that a good picture book works. Doug Cushman. Both written by Douglas Wood.

Humor can provide it, so can language, or character, or story. Alice Schertle. All You Need For a Beach. Chronicle, Everything is bigger in a picture book—the emotions, the colors, the drama, the intensity. A perfect example is the work of Denise Fleming—her books spill out of the covers, so that it feels like the action extends beyond the edges of the paper and boards.

They hum, these books do, even when they are closed. Kathi Appelt.

A Picture Book without Pictures by Hans Christian Andersen

Incredible Me. Brian Karas. Bubba and Beau, Best Friends.

Tedd Arnold. Huggly The Monster Under the Bed series. Scholastic, There must be dozens of elements that make a very young picture book sing to very young readers. A book that draws from its admirers a measurable giggle is a success by any benchmark. So I hope my young reader picture books will always incorporate a little silly. Kelly Milner Halls. I Bought a Baby Chicken.

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Boyds Mills, Add interesting, unique characters. Combine that with a plot surprise or a twist. Add a dash of humor or rhyme, suit to taste.

Stir until the consistency is just right. Joan Holub. Somebunny Loves Me.

What Makes a Good Young Picture Book?

He was speaking primarily about his drawings, but I think the same holds true for the words. Contagious language—words so delicious a young child will wish to taste them, possibly repeat or chant them. And, of course, a wonderful story in the true meaning of wonderful. A story that stimulates and simulates the fabulous imagination of young children.

In other words, a story into which a young child can easily step in his or her imagination. As for pictures, they should complete, enhance, and illuminate the meaning of the words. They are, after all, the first books a human being experiences in what, it is hoped, will be a lifetime of reading. Roni Schotter. Captain Bob Takes Flight. Atheneum, Captain Bob Sets Sail. Room for Rabbit.

Missing Rabbit. Good young picture books appeal to children and adults alike. They usually have bold, brightly-colored artwork, simple language with strong read-aloud rhythm, and overall packages that parents consider a good value in terms of both content and price.

Concept-driven books with spare text and clear lessons are just right for preschoolers, who are tackling basic but important concepts like the association of words to objects, the identification of colors, the concept of counting Enhancements like touchable elements, noise-makers, etc. But by far, I think the most important element of a good young picture book, whether it has an overt lesson or a more subtly-handled message, is that it offer a story or theme that bring parents and young children together.

A great picture book will bring the generations together every time. Picture books must appeal not only to the child, but also to the adult who reads them aloud, or simply hands them joyfully over to the child. It is this combination—the sharing of a loved book—that will have the most impact. When I imagine picture books, I think of the child responding to my delight in the reading, anticipating the turn of each page. Babies like contrasts—shapes, bold colors or black and white.

They enjoy photographs…and the rhythm of the voice who shares them. Milne knew abut rhythm for babies. Goodnight Moon , the standout baby picture book classic, never fails.

The art and repetitive rhythm work in perfect harmony, and the book is read again and again to the youngest set. As children get older, add more busy-ness to their books. Toddlers like to point out items on a page. Read them stories with repetition or rhyme so they can chime in. Nothing beats a good tale as children get older.


They happen to be humorous stories—in pictures and in words—but the important thing is that the text can hold the attention. The partnership between text and art —each supporting the other—is essential. There is simply no way to get around rich text with illustrations to match. Valerie Lewis. The same could be said of books for any age, including adults.

Obviously, with a picture book the art is terribly important and the story should be something that children can relate to. Sarah Weeks. If I Were a Lion. Ill by Heather M. My Somebody Special. Gulliver Books, Posted by Ris in Mar, Many people get confused over what exactly is an illustrated book compared to a picture book, they both are books with drawings in, right?

In one respect they are just books with drawing in but there are also many subtle differences between the two publishing formats.