Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Dig up your swimsuits. Dust off your flip-flops. Grab your book. Summer is here! The warm sun of summer is an invitation to a great summer read.
This time, I’m forgoing the popular books of summer. In its place, I will be revisiting the classics. My reading list will include the following picture books:
The Carrot Seed (Ruth Krauss)

Corduroy (Don Freeman)
Harry the Dirty Dog (Gene Zion)
Madeline (Ludwig Bemelmans)
Stone Soup (Marcia Brown)
Strega Nona (Tomie de Paola)
Where the Wild Things Are (Maurice Sendak)
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (William Steig)
…and other timeless pieces.
I’ll be reading, studying, and analyzing these books in hopes to become a better children’s writer. I will be using Eve Heidi Bine-Stock’s book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK, as my instructional guide. 
How to Write a Children's Picture Book: Learning from The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Corduroy, Where the Wild Things Are, The Carrot Seed, Good Night, Gorilla, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, and Other Favorite Stories In Bine-Stock’s first volume, she delves into the heart of children’s books and helps us understand what makes a successful children’s picture book. Tone, word choice, plot, character, setting, theme, style, etc are important for creating a book. But Bine-stock writes about structure as a fundamental part of a book, rarely discussed in other how-to guides. “Employing structure into your story is key to writing a successful picture book,” says Bine-Stock. Her book takes on a unique and interesting approach to teaching the craft of writing picture books.
I am looking forward to re-reading the aforementioned classic children’s books with my sons. On a patio, under a shady tree, or on the beach, I’ll be there to enjoy my summer reading.
What is on your Summer Reading list?

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