- Sit down and read published picture books
- Type out the text of a favorite picture book – look at word length, sentence length, page length, total word count, cause and effect, rhyme or other schemes at work
- Create a dummy manuscript of 32 pages. Allow 4-5 for front matter (end pages, title, copyright, etc).
- Begin with action!
- Use small words that create images and characters that will illustrate well
- Think of your story like a slideshow. The pictures keep the story moving along.
- Each word you use is 1/500th of the story!
- Print your manuscript, cut it into sentences and paste into your dummy book to see the flow
- Does every page evoke a visual image?
- Read it with a child in your lap!
To jump start your imagination, check out this list of 100 Top Children’s Picture Books (and please let’s not fight about the ones we’d all like to see added!).