What Makes a Good Picture Book for Children?

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As a children’s book author, knowing what makes a good picture book is the foundation of a successful story. Such as when you write novels or a self-help tome, the process can be grueling, but it can be fun, too, especially if it’s for children.

what makes a good picture book

If you have a story inside dying to go out, the best thing to do is to just let it soar. Who knows how many lives you can touch by that story?

If you want to write a picture book but are not sure how to start, take note of these simple but useful tips on what makes a good picture book.

Know your market.

Unlike adults, children as an audience tend to need specific materials depending on their age group. Knowing who you are writing for before you start can alleviate at least a quarter of your worries. You can choose among toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age kids. You can start planning your picture book once you’ve identified this.

Devise your message.

Since your audience segment will be children, it’s important to shape your message in a way that it can positively influence your readers’ development. You can focus on sharing lessons about the importance of family, kindness, friendship, or empathy. You can also focus on literal lessons that can help them in school like letters, numbers, or colors. It’s also important to be clear with your main point so that it will be easier for you to write a story around it.

good picture books

Write your story.

Here comes the hard part. There are fast writers, and there are slow, meticulous writers. It’s okay to take whatever pace you’re comfortable with. The important thing is you finish your story. After all, it is not how fast you write it but how it influences your readers. Rhyme always works for picture books, so you might want to consider that style. However, it’s still entirely up to you whether you want to write in poetry form or in prose.

Find your illustrator.

An engaging story is essential, but it’s just one component of what makes a good picture book. You will also need attractive illustrations to capture the attention of your young readers. If you’re already a talented illustrator, then that’s amazing! You just have start drawing your characters. But if all you can draw are stick figures, then you need to scout the market for an illustrator who can bring life to your story.

Find your publisher.

Your manuscript is done? Great! It’s time to start looking for publishing options—traditional or self-publishing. If you opt for the latter, you can also do DIY publishing and work with professional illustrators such as in Amelia Book Company, who, more than anyone, knows what makes a good picture book. Be sure your manuscript is solid and is ready for the publishing process.

Publishing a picture book is exciting. Are you ready? Now, get started on your picture book journey.


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