For those of you interested in writing or illustrating picture books, I thought you might be interested in this series of articles I'll be publishing over the next six weeks called
Picture Books: Making It Count
Picture books are one of the most popular children's book formats to write, but they're not always easy to master. Learning the craft of writing a picture book can take years. It's a good thing we all enjoy the process so much and that the rewards of publication make it all worth it!
Puggle's Problem was my first ever book,
and my first ever picture book, to be released.
(Wombat Books, 2010)
Part 1: The Magic of Picture Books
There’s something magical about picture books.
I view them as the Zen of children’s writing, as works of art, the fusion of two independent creators combining words and images to produce a lasting impact, a statement about the world or those creatures who inhabit it.
I create picture books because I love to play with words and rhythm and rhyme.
I create picture books because I love to write stories that enchant this younger age group.
And, I have to admit, I create picture books because of pure and unadulterated selfishness.
Sure, I create every story with a design and a desire to share it with others. To impassion. To entertain. To teach. To evoke.
But deep down, one of the key reasons I write picture book stories is because I know that one day, if the planets align and I manage to score some luck on my side, then I will have the heady pleasure of seeing my words brought to life by a skilled artist.
Warambi was my second picture book.
It was shortlisted for the CBCA Eve Pownell Award and
the Wildernress Society Award for Children's Literature.
(Working Title Press, 2011)
For someone whose drawing prowess extends only to stick figures illustrations, the joy I feel when I hold one of my picture books for the first time is immense. It’s like I’ve been handed a precious gift.
There’s no way I could bring to life the images of my story that exist in my mind. I couldn’t function as a picture book creator without the help of the talented artists and designers I work with. Admittedly, they need my words to provide the scaffolding for the story. But without their pictures, my words are lifeless on the page.
Stripes in the Forest: The Story of the Last Wild Thylacine is my latest picture book release.
It came from a passion for thylacines, a desire to tell their story from their POV and a hope, a dream, that they might still be out there.