Knowledge Base »



How to Make a Picture Book Dummy

When I get stuck revising a picture book manuscript, the best tool I found to give me a fresh look at the story is a dummy. A mock up book, that is.

Picture books are about spare text, scene changes, a turning point, and page turners. When you physically lay


Writing Picture Books: Where’s The Fun?

Several years ago, my then five-year-old grandson told me about his first venture on the climbing wall. I feigned concern for his safety, though I knew he had been harnessed and tethered. “Rowan, that sounds too dangerous,” I said. “I’m not sure you’re big enough. What if you slip and


Writing Rhyming Picture Books


Dr. Seuss did it, and in the process changed the face of the publishing industry and became a beloved household name to children for several generations. So why do so many editors say they don’t want stories written in rhyme?

Many beginning writers ask about this well-known submission “Don’t”.


Perfect Pacing for Picture Books

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a library voyeur. I love eavesdropping on adults reading picture books to children. The best ones are more of a performance than a reading. A well written book brings out the thespian in each of us. I want my books performed! Pacing is at the

Ask an Author: Writing Longer Picture Books

Hi Linda.


What would you call a longer picture book, word count anything from 1000 to 2000 words; one that has beautiful sophisticated illustrations.


I’m thinking of something like The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey. Or When Jessie sailed Across the Sea.


Does this genre


Picture Books 101


What is a Picture Book?

  • Illustrated stories and nonfiction for children ages 3-6, or 4-8.**     Designed to be read out loud to a child.


  • Text averages 1000 words or less (500-800 words is most common); books average 32 pages.


  • The text focuses on the characters, plot and action of the book. Very

What the Heck’s Happening In Picture Books?

The past few years has brought the biggest shift in picture books that I’ve observed in my twenty-year writing career. Things that I believe have contributed to the shift are:

  • The awarding of the Caldecott Medal to a novel-length story that happens to have a trillion drawings and was labeled

Word Counts, Page Counts & Age Groups: Board Books, Poetry & Picture Books

Board Books, fiction and nonfiction:8-24 pages long, paper over board format, written for infants and toddlers. Minimal text (0-200 words). Lots of concrete action and familiar situations. Can also teach concepts (colors, shapes, identifying animals, etc.), and may have lift-the-flaps, touch-and-feel or sound elements. Most are written by the


New Picture Books from Three Fightin’ Bookworms!

We’re pleased to highlight new picture books from three Fightin’ Bookworms: Natasha Yim, Allyn M. Stotz, and Carrie A. Pearson. In this interview they give some of their best tips on writing, revising and getting published.



Cixi “The Dragon Empress” by Natasha Yim, illustrated by Peter Malone, published


How to Write a Picture Book Biography

Nonfiction picture books are a hit with children in the older elementary grades. The factual information appeals to teachers and kids doing school reports, while the illustrated format makes the books accessible to readers who are intimidated by large blocks of text, and perfect to read aloud to a classroom.


Formatting Poetry for Submission

If you’re submitting a rhyming text to a book publisher, you’re going to format a bit differently than prose formatting.  For books written in verse, using a full double-space between lines might make the text too loose and hard to read. Instead, use 1.5 spaces within the verses, and double


PODCAST – Darren Sardelli on the Art of Writing Children’s Poetry


Join Laura for an exclusive chat with children’s poet Darren Sardelli on the ins and outs of writing poems for kids, creating his own publishing company. setting up school appearances and lots more!

To learn more about Darren, visit his web site at


   Listen Now: 




VIDEO – Using Animals or Inanimate Objects as Main Characters

How do you develop a main character that isn’t exactly human?  Laura’s got the answer for you!