Monday, 28 June 2021

Picture Books - a Lifetime Love by Jill Atkins, Guest Blogger


I’ve always loved picture books, since my own childhood, when I was lucky enough to have a mother who loved children’s books; then sharing them with my own children and grandchildren, as well as enjoying sharing the pleasure picture books give when I was teaching. Some favourites have stayed with me. But what do these books have that make me admire/love them? I’ll try to explain.

Timothy Tabbycat written and illustrated by Cam is from my childhood. It’s about a quest to help a hare that has been captured by two witches called Mrs Longtooth and Mrs Snatchangrab. It was terrifying yet I loved it! Still do! It’s now classed on a certain website as an ‘Extraordinarily Rare Antique Children's Book’! That puts me in my place!

Dogger, written and illustrated by Shirley Hughes is a classic. It’s guaranteed to make me cry every time I’ve read it to my children, grandchildren, a class of children... or just treat myself to the umpteenth time on my own. It’s the part where Bella offers Dave her newly-won bear instead of his lost favourite cuddly, Dogger, that gets me. Her act of kindness is so touching. Dogger must be one of my favourites of all time!

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson - Who could not admire The Gruffalo with its perfect rhythm, rhyming and scanning, its attractive illustrations by Axel Scheffler and the story of the clever, brave young mouse? For me, it’s a ‘wish I had written it’ book.

A more recent pleasure is Bonkers about Beetroot by Cath Jones. It’s about a wonderful zebra character that is determined to save the day when the zoo is scheduled to close. I love the bold illustrations by Chris Jevons, and the great twist at the end of the story... not forgetting the grumpy penguin, of course!! It’s a truly bonkers book!

Superheroes don’t get scared... or do they? This is a recently published picture book, Kate Thompson’s first. With an amazingly funny text and vibrant illustrations by Clare Elsom, it has a brilliant message – it’s OK to be frightened!

There are so many picture books that I have loved over the years and it’s impossible to name them all, but a wish has always been lurking in my mind: How fantastic it would be to have my own picture book published! I’ve tried, honest!

I began making up stories when I was a child, telling them to my younger brothers when they were in the bath! And I was praised for my story writing all throughout school, so I suppose this was the start of my desire to have a picture book published.

Then, having been a teacher for many years, most of the time in Reception Classes, I began writing simple reading books some years ago, purely because I didn’t feel there was enough interesting and stimulating material out there at the time to give readers the incentive and stimulation to learn the sometimes impossible skill of reading. None of my efforts was published then, but I kept writing and eventually, my first book came into being: Cooking with Rabbit.

That was the first of many and I’ve now passed 150 published books with a variety of publishers and at a variety of levels and a variety of genres, from a pre-reader with no words... through Early Readers that are very strictly based on phonics (very hard to write, but I love the challenge!); different levels of fiction and non-fiction ‘reading books’ for young children; Science and English workbooks; four historical books based on different periods of history; to books for reluctant or struggling teenagers and adults.

But none of these is a picture book!

During over 25 years of writing for educational publishers, I’ve attempted many times to write picture book texts to no avail. So, when yet another rejection email arrives in my inbox, or worse still, when there’s no response at all, I often ask myself, ‘Should I persevere with my attempts to get one accepted?’ Or...

‘Stick to what you know,’ is the advice many people give, so that’s what I’ve mainly been doing all this time. I’m fully aware that writing a picture book is a very different skill to writing that required for writing a ‘reading book’. The illustrations in reading books need to match the text, while pictures in a picture book add a new dimension to a story. 

So, I’m sure you can imagine the thrill and elation when the acceptance came! How it happened in the end was ironic really. I sent in a text for an early reader and guess what! My editor loved the story and wanted the text adapted for a picture book! Yay! My first picture book, Raccoon and the Hot Air Balloon, illustrated wonderfully by Kristen Humphrey, is being published on 28th June!


Jill Atkins said...

Thanks, Jane Clarke for posting this, and to Cath Jones for setting it up!

Jill said...


ninositsolution said...

The information you give in the blog is very good.
Best Web Designing & Development Company in Chennai
Website Designing Company in Chennai
Web Development Company in Chennai
Website Designers in Chennai
Ecommerce Website Designing Company in Chennai
Ecommerce Website Designers in Chennai
Web Application Development Company in Chennai
SEO based Digital Marketing Company in Chennai
Android Application Development Company in Chennai
SEO Company in Chennai
Digital Marketing Services in Chennai
Digital Marketing Company in Chennai
IOS Application Development Company in Chennai
Ecommerce Website Designing & Development Company in Chennai
Web Development Company in Chennai.
Web design company India
Web designing company
Web design company in Chennai
Website design company chennai
Website design chennai
Website designer chennai
Creative web design company India
Professional web design company Chennai
Best web design company Chennai
Top web design company Chennai
Web hosting Chennai
Ecommerce web design company
Ecommerce website designing company in chennai
Ecommerce website designer chennai
Ecommerce website designer
Ecommerce website designer India
Website design India
search engine optimization company Chennai
Digital Marketing Services Chennai

Anonymous said...

a fantastic article Thank you for sharing. Everyone seeking a software agency should read this post.
Brisk logic is a Mohali-based software design, app development, and web design firm.
digital transformation and business automation

Josh Freeman said...

Your blog contains a wealth of useful information that has proven to be really useful to me. A great number of people will benefit from your blog in fixing their issues. The way you presented the facts was admirable. I hope you will continue to write articles like this in the future. Because I'm very interested in illustrative logos design and development, blogs like these are extremely useful to me.

Gc Marketing said...

Generally I don’t read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, very nice post. Best of luck for the next! Please visit my web site Best Marketing Agency Birmingham service provider.

deenadayalan said...

Thank you so much for sharing such an awesome article on creating articles, it will surely help me in creating articles in the future.
Web Design Company in Chennai
App development company in Chennai
mobile app developers in chennai
website development company in chennai

Shoelift Express said...

Aw, this was a really nice post! I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this site. Best of luck for the next! Please visit my web site Best Leg Length Discrepancy Shoe service provider.

Ajay said...

GMCSCO is a leading global marketing company which provides low-cost digital marketing services in Bangalore, India.

Digital Marketing Agency in Bangalore

Web Development Agency in Bangalore

SEO Services in Bangalore

Steven Smith said...

We can assist you with your assignment and ensure that it is completed on time. We have a group of writers who are experts in a variety of academic disciplines and have years of writing expertise. Do my assignment offers a wide range of academic services, including essays, dissertations, and research papers.

Sattamatkarepair said...

India is where Satta Matka, a particular game, initially surfaced. People who wish to make money play it. Because it has been played for so long, the game has changed through time. Despite the fact that anybody may currently access the game online, it was first played only by the participants in a group setting. If you want to learn more about Satta Matka you've come to the correct place

SD said...

Thanks for sharing useful information. Keep it up!! Also visit Best HVAC Software for Small Businesses

Sattamatkalive said...

matka guessinga game without any specific rules, but there are some general guidelines to follow. The matka is usually hidden and the player can only see the cards on the table, so they have to choose which card they think it might be.

This comment has been removed by the author.
Outsource To Asia said...

I really enjoyed reading your post about picture books. Your post about Timothy Tabbycat is one of my favorite children's books and I can't wait to read it with my kids. Also, I really enjoyed your post about the Gruffalo! Affordable Web Development Services

Sarah J. said...

Web Development
I love reading your blog post about picture books. I had never heard of Timothy Tabbycat before today and I can't wait to share it with my friends and family! I also love your writing style. It's so different and I love that. The images you use are great too.

Sarah J. said...

I really enjoyed the article on picture books. It was insightful and really helped me in my search for a picture book for my own children. I'm glad you mentioned the types of picture books that are recommended for different age groups. children’s story books

Thomas said...

Such a beauty full post, I love this post thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

william adam said...

Thanks For Sharing. Enda sportswear USA offers best running Shoes, workout shoes, training shoes which provide great comfort & help you to run better. We see ourselves in the larger context of the world and we think of other first; from our customers, to one another, we aim to solve problems and create a world that is more positive and stronger that we found it. Your search for Best Men's and Women Running Shoes ends here so call us 254-327-0077 or visit us Best sneakers