Professional Pointers Day 25

How do I write a strong picture book?

Let’s consult the professionals… picture book authors who know what it takes to succeed in the world of publishing.

Darcy Pattison, author of The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman (2009), offers great advice for rookie picture book writers in her blog called 30 Days to a Stronger Picture Book.  This page is definitely worth bookmarking.

#1 tip from Darcy:

Consider the “dual” audience. Yes you are writing a children’s book, but who is going to read it aloud a million times? (As a librarian, I can truly appreciate this advice.) A strong picture book appeals to both children and adults.

April Pulley Sayre, author of The Bumblebee Queen (2005),  also offers advice on how to Become a Children’s Book Author.

#1 tip from April:

Read the latest copy of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrator’s Market. According to The Writer’s Store, “For more than 20 years, CWIM has been the definitive publishing guide for anyone who seeks to write or illustrate for kids and young adults. Inside you’ll find more than 700 listings for children’s book publishers and magazines, including a point of contact, how much they pay, and what they’re looking for.”

Think I will be asking Santa for the 2012 edition of this book!

Katie Davis, author of Party Animals (2002), answers Frequently (and Seldom) Asked Questions from writers and artists who want to publish picture books.

#1 tip from Katie:

Join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.  I am receiving a membership to this organization for Christmas.  Thanks, Mom!

Watch Katie in this short video called The First Steps to Getting Published


And now…for Perfect Picture Book Friday sponsored by

Susanna Leonard Hill!

Visit Susanna’s page for more perfect picture books, including her own!

TitleDuck! Rabbit!

Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Scholastic, 2009


Suitable for: Grades K-2 (ages 5-8)

Themes: Creative Thinking, Point of View

Opening and Brief Synopsis: “Hey, Look! A duck!  That’s not a duck.  That’s a rabbit!  Are you kidding me?  It’s totally a duck.  It’s for sure a rabbit…” Each two page spread features a simple black ink drawing of a mystery animal- it appears to be a duck on the left side but a rabbit on the right side!

Links to Resources: Duck! Rabbit! TeachersGuide

Why I like this book:  This picture book is ingenious.  The optical illusions are so simple yet so spectacular and hilarious!  Duck! Rabbit!  holds the reader’s attention from beginning to end. (And there is a surprise ending!)

Watch the book trailer!


11 responses to “Professional Pointers Day 25

  1. Do love the tip about the dual audience! Duck! Rabbit! is a real hit in our library too, great choice.

    • Hi Joanna! Do you work in a school library? French or American? I am intrigued! 🙂 I can hardly get out of Texas 😉

      • Kelly, I set up the bilingual school library here at the International School of Monaco, but the last few years I have been their guidance counsellor. I still have a lot to do with the library, though!

  2. Your picture book writing tips are great, and maybe the prize for the December writing contest on my blog should be a copy of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators Market instead of a picture book 🙂 I have certainly heard of Duck! Rabbit! but I’m don’t think I’ve actually read it – time to remedy that! Thanks for joining in once agin with wonderful selection 🙂

  3. Catherine Johnson

    What an awesome post! It’s chock full of goodies. I’ve bookmarked all the links, thank you and I love the sound of the Duck Rabbit book. Even my kids would like that one. Have a great weekend!

    • Glad I could be of help. I have been scouring the Internet lately checking for helpful hints on writing and publishing. I was really happy to find these! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Catherine!

  4. Love this very clever book. And, I’m a fan of Tom Lichtenheld. Did you see the book trailer? Great selection!

  5. elizabethannewrites

    Great tips, fun book. Thanks, Kelly!

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