Back them, I had no idea that I would end up writing picture books – but without realising it, I absorbed the pace and cadence of a picture book, and I learned:
Different characters have different voices.
From Trumpet the Little Elephant with the Big Temper, illustrated by Charles Fuge
Page turns have drama.
From Creaky Castle, illustrated by Christyan Fox
There are opportunities to vary the speed and tone of the reading.
From Knight Time, illustrated by Jane Massey
Words can be enjoyed for their sound and rhythm.
From Dance Together Dinosaurs, illustrated by Lee Wildish
Jokes and puns in the words and the pictures can be quite sophisticated and enjoyed on two levels – the adult and the child.
From Gilbert the Great, illustrated by Charles Fuge. Charlie slipped in some pictorial references to the Jaws movies.
It’s fun to join in a refrain (but don’t overdo it).
From Stuck in the Mud, illustrated by Garry Parsons
Reading out loud is an important part of the process when you’re writing picture books. It helps highlight where the text isn’t working. I find it hard to read into thin air, but I can usually find an audience of some sort...
Some picture books work best snuggled up quietly, some work best shared with large groups of noisy youngsters. What picture books do you love to read out loud?