Sunday 19 February 2012

About Picture Books

I’ve been thinking a lot about picture books recently. I’ve been trying to analyse what works and what doesn’t. I’ve treated myself to some books on the subject but more about that in a minute. 

First of all I want to remind you about The Picture Book Den. It’s hosted by eight successful children’s picture book writers, including Pippa Goodhart, and there’s always something there to inspire. Today Pippa's blog post is called Pick a Book, Any Book! Do pop over and have a read.

While I’m on the subject of Pippa Goodhart, her latest picture book has just been published.

Little Nelly’s Big Book illustrated by Andy Rowland  

It’s about an elephant who thinks she’s a mouse. Pippa blogged about this book in a previous Picture Book Den post here where she talks about the importance of pictures in books.

It may not be obvious to anyone buying copies of the amazingly successful Winnie the Witch books that these too are written by Pippa Goodhart. The original character was created by Valerie Thomas but Pippa has been writing them for several years and very entertaining they are too!
Winnie Goes For Gold with illustrations by Korky Paul will be out on March 1st.

If you can’t wait until March then you can get any of her other Winnie stories including Winnie Shapes Up and Winnie Takes the Plunge on Pippa's website here and they’re all illustrated by Korky Paul.

I recently bought myself a fascinating reference book. It's called Children’s Picturebooks – The art of visual storytelling. It’s by Martin Salisbury and Morag Styles and it’s packed with information and inspiration about writing picture books. Right now I’m looking at its analysis of word and image interplay. Pictures can be used to either illustrate, to fill in the gaps or as a counterpoint like the well-known Rosie’s Walk where the fox never gets a mention.

I knew about these different styles. We’d discussed them when I went on a course about Writing for Children many years ago but I needed reminding and they’ve helped me to make some drastic changes to one or two manuscripts that are about to go out so I’m keeping quite a few things crossed because it’s almost a year since I had a book accepted for publication.
Maybe some of Pippa’s magic writing dust can float down upon my fingers!!