Award winners; literacy schemes; stand alone story books and educational series reads.
Big books, small books, books that rhyme, words that chime.
I often use characters from these titles for role play or activity sessions in schools. Some of the books have environmental themes too, and can be used for discussions around the way we live, wildlife, weather, seasons and how the world works. But however much there might be a message, or a moral, or a theme, it’s always the story that comes first. If the story isn’t right, the message won’t matter – because no one will want to read it anyway!
Ways with Words
The gate no one opened was rusted up, and old. When the wind blew it sometimes creaked and sighed.
- from Mouse Look Out
A picture book can be a big story told small, it can be poetic, funny or educational. Often, it’s all of those things.
I often use meditation and visualisation to get ideas started, and picture books are great for this. I ‘watch’ them as if they’re a film… and then start writing. I focus on having a different scene for each page so the story keeps moving. Picture book writers don’t always need to be artists but it’s good to have a feel for how it might look visually – although talented illustrators will have their own ideas too.