How to Write a Creative Non-Fiction Picture Book

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Within the picture book genre, there are certain sub-genres and I’ll cover some of these in the next few days.

Creative Non-fiction Picture Books

Non-fiction is about the facts. But those facts cannot be trite, boring, or presented in a cliched way. Not the for the picture book audience. Instead, you must find creative ways to present the material to the kids. Here are some examples of how writers have solved the problem.

  • glades
    Poetry To start, look at Wordsong’s poetry books. For example, The Seldom Ever Shady Glades, by Sue Van Wassenhove, evokes the Florida Everglades in poetry. Or, look at the World Snacks series by Amy Wilson Sanger, which began with The First Book of Sushi. sushi
  • first the egg
    Creative Language Language play doesn’t have to be pure poetry, but can just evoke a poetic feel. Or it can evoke a certain place or time period. Or, use a concept that kids are just learning. Laura Vaccaro Seeger, in First the Egg, uses the pair of concepts, First – Then. First the egg, then. . .

  • frog

    Illustrations Of course, illustrations can add to the effectiveness of a story. Nic Bishop’s amazing photography was the starting point for the Red-Eyed Tree Frog, with text by Joy Cowley. Whether the illustrations/photography comes first or last, think about how to integrate the text and words.

Find creative ways to make non-fiction fun for kids and you’ll have a winner!

Find this Helpful? Read the Complete Series as an Ebook:

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How to Write a Children's Picture Book by Darcy Pattison

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1 Comment
  • Cheryl Rainfield
    September 3, 2008

    I love your blog–you give such helpful writing information; thank you!

    I’ve nominated your blog for the Brilliante Weblog Premio Award! Please visit my blog for more information :).