How to Write Children's Books
1. Extend the story using the illustration
Notice how the story below doesn’t make sense if you read the text only. For example: “Big Pig runs to get help. Big Pig runs back to the tree.” The text doesn’t say where he went or if he was successful, but the images show he goes to the barn and brings back 3 friends.
Below, pages 14-17, and page 21 do not make sense if you read the text alone, but the illustration makes it clear what is happening. The text does not say anywhere that Biscuit is taking a bath
Example of image extending text 3
Pages 21-23 do not say what happened to the kittens. We can only know they were rescued by the girl when we look at the pictures.
2. Use illustrations to teach vocabulary
Pages 6-7 and 14-15 are examples of how illustrations can be used to teach difficult vocabulary in low-level books.
3. Write poetically, repeat target sounds frequently to teach pronunciation and spelling
Notice how repetitious the sounds are. We should shoot for the same level of repetition with our target sounds.
4. Give the story a dynamic feel by including many scene changes
In this story, the bear is 1) in the woods 2) in the river 3) in the desert 4) in the mountains 5) in the city 6) in the zoo… etc. Change the scene frequently (or at least the focus of the illustration) can give the book a dynamic feel and engage children easily. In any story, try to have at least 3 scene changes.
5. Be creative about how you teach vocabulary!
The Fancy Nancy serious has built a character through which vocabulary is constantly explained. It fits her character (she always tries to use fancy words) and teaches readers new vocab.