Here are a few things I’ve learned about picture books by reading picture books:
Picture books don’t have to rhyme.
Picture books can rhyme. The rhymes don’t have to be formal, but they do have to sing. Read Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s What Can a Crane Pick Up? and Tammi Sauer’s Mary Had a Little Glam.
Picture books don’t need a whole lot of words, but as in a poem, every word must count. Here’s an example of what a writer can accomplish with less than 100 words: Extraordinary Jane, Hannah E. Harrison
When you are finally ready to submit a picture book manuscript, don’t include illustrator notes unless some small tidbit is essential to your story. You have to leave things open for the illustrator. See how Tammi says just enough and leaves the rest up to the artist: Making a Friend, Tammi Sauer
Sometimes, the illustrations tell a completely…
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