PB Peek #1 – General Observations

I just finished my last critique for PB Peek Week #1. What fun to read and analyze 7 totally unique manuscripts. Hurray for all the participating children’s writers!! What a stellar group.

After reviewing my letters to the authors, I’ve found some recurring comments that I thought might be helpful to note and share. Here goes:

  • Kids can smell a lesson a mile a way. Don’t let the adult/teacher/parent in you write the story. Having said that, stories that hold some kind of growth or lesson for the MC can be balanced with skepticism, innocence and humor.
  • If the rhyme is limiting the potential of your story, get rid of the rhyme.
  • Match your story premise and MC age to your audience age. And while your text can stretch your reader/listener vocabulary-wise, watch out for abstract ideas that might not appeal to a kid’s sensibilities.
  • Watch for breaks in your story logic especially when combining fantastical with everyday elements of your story.
  • Illustration potential is elemental to PB texts. However, the text must stand alone, giving an editor the opportunity to create his/her own initial unique vision for your book. You don’t have to surrender your own vision, but it pays to keep an open mind in the joint effort to create the best possible picture book.

Watch for my next Picture Book Peek Week coming later this summer.

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