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.
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.
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. . .
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!
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