Friday, January 13, 2012


I am currently obsessed with picture books!

I know, I know, I have heard it all before. They cannot be that hard to write, you use so few words.

You are right; an ordinary picture book may not be that hard to write. However, a fantastic, wonderful, outstanding and stick out in the crowd picture book is very hard to write.

You need just the right words, just the right rhythm, just the right imagery to make you and your child fall in love with the story.  

I checked out a few picture books when I was at the library on Tuesday.

Owl Moon, The Scarecrow’s Dance and The Relatives Came.

These are not current picture books, the latest one, The Scarecrow’s Dance, was published in 2009.

After reading these books, one can see why these authors are successful. They write with just the right words, just the right rhythm and just the right imagery to make you fall in love with the book.

My favorite is Owl Moon by Jane Yolen.

A father and child go out owling in the woods late at night. I love her use of words, the story flowed upon the pages.

Here are a few of my favorite passages:

Our feet crunched
Over the crisp snow
And little gray footprints
Followed us.
Pa made a long shadow,
But mine was short and round.
Pa shrugged
And I shrugged.
I was not disappointed.
My brothers all said
Sometimes there’s an owl
And sometimes there isn’t.
We reached the line
Of pine trees,
Black and pointy
Against the sky,

Don't you just love the words she uses.

Is Owl Moon one of your favorite picture books?
What type of reading/writing are you obsessed with?



  1. I like picture books best when I'm reading to my 7 year old son. I haven't read that one. He keeps checking out books from the school library that has just way too many words for me! lol

    Stay warm!

  2. I always read picture books to my son and grandchildren.. they loved them and so do I..

  3. You know, I don't even think we have this one in our collection. I hope I can find a copy sometime.

    I too, am obsessed with picture books. :)

  4. I haven't read a picture book in a long time. Right now I'm obsessed with reading books by my blogging buddies.

  5. I like Jane Yolen too. I love children's books.
    AND yes I will be at the conf in June no matter what. I will not let my chronic health problem rule my life anymore. Unless I cannot walk, I will be there!!!
    Can't wait. Thanks for giving Jane 's OWL MOON some recognition. Beautiful.
    Blessings, Barb

  6. Janet! Hold the presses! So to speak. Google Sleepytime Press. They are taking submissions for children's picture books right now. I'm pretty sure, anyway. Try it and see:)

  7. I've tried to write picture books and I think it is oh so hard!

  8. Thanks Diane, I'll check out their site.

  9. I too love writing picture books. Unfortunately, not only are they hard to write, they're also hard to get accepted. I suppose it's because they cost such a lot to produce so publishers can't afford to take a risk. Maybe they could just take a risk with us... do you think?!

  10. I read a review of Owl Moon recently. I really need to pick this one up. Picture Books are like so many things.They are simple, but it takes a lot of work to make it appear effortless.

  11. I love picture books and "Owl Moon" and "The Relatives Came" are two of my favorites.


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