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7 Ultimate Steps To Help You Quickly Create a Popular Picture Book

Writing picture books is a memorable and thrilling endeavor as it combines the strength of words with the beauty of illustrations to create a tale. Here are some guidelines along with some resources to assist you in producing a picture book that will captivate young readers:

Begin with a compelling idea.

Begin with a compelling idea.

Your story should contain a single, compelling notion that can be encapsulated in a few short sentences. Next, think about your story's topic, message, and setting, and check to see if they are all relevant to and understandable for your intended audience.

Check out these posts if you are contemplating ideas and looking for inspiration. There are tons of resources, but we picked some that was powerful yet simple to follow.

  • Marianne Richmond discusses four actions that can be used to generate ideas for children's books: S.T.O.P. Click here to learn about her exciting method for coming up with a great book idea.

  • Brooke Vitale talks about the different ideas that work in picture books. Click here to read her insightful article, which includes a tip on starting at the end of a story.

  • And, if you're still looking for some solid starting points, check out this post by Jason Hamilton, who makes it simple to get started with 50 prompt ideas.

Keep the story as simple as possible.

Keep the story as simple as possible.

Because picture books are intended for young readers, the language should be simple and easy to understand. Therefore, avoid complex vocabulary and instead use short, repetitive phrases.

We discovered children's books that convey complex, necessary ideas in less than 1000 words. So, before you pick up a pen, read them and be inspired.

  • How can you assist kids in gaining emotional intelligence? It is accomplished flawlessly in The Rabbit Listened, a picture book of 40 pages and fewer than 500 words.

  • Is it possible to introduce youngsters to a scary narrative without frightening them? Without using words, Spencer's New Pet succeeds. You'll be astounded by this book with its cinematic vibe.

  • Is there a gentle approach to educating youngsters about hunger and poverty? An excellent illustration of how to communicate that tale with empathy and wit is Maddie's Fridge.

Make characters lovable and relatable.

Your characters should be relatable and have characteristics that children can identify with. They should have a logical reason for the events in your story. Consider using animals as your main characters because children often enjoy having them as the protagonist.

Children admire Winnie, Gruffalo, and Paddington because of how their authors portray them. Let's examine relevant articles on developing a timeless persona.

  • Writing Picture Books author Ann Whitford Paul discusses five fundamental elements of your picture-book characters that you should know inside and out. Click here to learn more about those elements.

  • Blogger Devon A. Corneal has made the concept of characterization simpler than it appears. Check out her post on character types, which includes examples.

  • The idea of characterization from a child's point of view is nicely summarised by the publisher, Ethicool, for any aspiring author. To grasp the nuances, read their post.

Make use of visual storytelling.

There's a reason they're called picture books. Your drawings enhance your content, provide details, and evoke a particular atmosphere. In addition, you ensure that your idea is realized and collaborate closely with your illustrator.

Picture books stand out for their illustrations because children not just read but also want to see the story unfold.

  • Even if children can't read the text, they understand what's happening in the picture and images. According to Happydesigners, illustrations make reading more enjoyable.

  • If you are someone who deep dives into everything, here is a detailed paper on the effects of illustration in children's literature.

  • discusses what illustrations to look for, how many pictures to include, and even what not to do when illustrating.

Tell a complete story.

A picture book should convey an entire plot with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Ensure the story is straightforward and moves smoothly from one page to the next. This still holds true if you intend to write a prequel or sequel to the story. However, consider leaving the ending open-ended so kids can draw conclusions and interpretations. Picture books are frequently used to spark kids' imaginations.

A book should present a whole story and be simple to read. The reader should like each book, even when read independently, even though you may desire to weave a story with a sequel and prequel.

  • In Pete the Cat series, each of Pete's adventure books is a stand-alone book, offering a delightful reading experience each time.

  • Each funny title in the Pigeon series tickles your tummy every time you read it.

  • And the classic bear series entertains children with inquisitive questions and simple words.

Note the rhythm and rhyme.

Rhyme or rhythm is frequently used in picture books to increase the story's interest. Use repetition to your advantage by reiterating specific words, phrases, or sounds throughout the story. Young children adore repetition. Stay moderate with the rhyme, though, since this can rapidly get monotonous.

While writing in a rhythm is very important for picture books, they don't have to rhyme, but rhyming makes them better for read-a-loud sessions.

  • Michal Leah talks about how to write a rhyming picture book, and she explains with examples. Check it out.

  • You can learn the tricks and gain some inspiration from 27 books that PBS Kids recommends.

  • Pip Jones advises against forcing it. The focus is always on the story. See her article right here.

Edit, revise, and repeat.

Revising and editing your work is essential for any writing project. Picture books are no different. Review your story several times and make changes and revisions as needed to make it the best it can be. Ensure your language is clear and that the story flows smoothly.

You have heard this a hundred times, but there is no shortcut.

  • John Fox provides self-editing advice that should apply to any writing, especially picture books.

  • Do you, however, require an editor to review your work? Vicky Weber answers that query right here.

  • Dave Chesson responds to a question about the various types of editing options that are available.

Finally, creating a picture book can be both creative and rewarding. So keep these tips in mind and have fun bringing your story to life. We'll see you next time with more picture book information. Have fun, be creative, and don't be afraid to take chances.


Take advantage of signing up for our newsletter (We promise to send only one email a month, and you can unsubscribe anytime). Have a picture book? Send it to us so we may review it. Remember to read our book reviews and browse our resources section.

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