PICTURE BOOK FOCUS Tips to Create a Stronger Picture Book by LOOKING!

 Natascha Biebow shares tips on how to create
a stronger picture book by closely analysing the books you read.

The picture book market is constantly changing . . . and there are so many fab new books! How can you keep up? How can you make your book stand out? You need to read them like a WRITER and ILLUSTRATOR!
Colourful picture book shelves at award-winning bookshop
Tales on Moon Lane in South London

One piece of widely-given advice if you want to write and illustrate picture books is to READ lots and lots of them. 

So, you read them aloud. If possible, you share them with a child. Check in with your gut feeling – does the book work for you? How does it make you feel? Do you want to read it again?
Charlie and Lola (© Lauren Child) enjoy reading!

Then, take this exercise one step further:

ASK WHY! Think critically to figure out why or why not? 

     Imagine you’re the CHEF . . . 

. . .  and you want to figure out which ingredients made for that super-tasty sparkly cake.

OK, but sometimes, you can’t just phone up the chef and ask for the recipe. 

So, what can you do?

Now you can understand in more detail what ingredients went into the picture book and WHY you liked it or not. And using your magic eye, you can gain perspective on your own work and apply some of these same techniques in your own creative process.

Voila – you can edit your work to create a stronger picture book –
with all the magic ingredients!

Natascha Biebow is an experienced editor, mentor and coach, who loves working with authors and illustrators at all levels to help them to shape their storieswww.blueelephantstoryshaping.com
She has been awarded an MBE for her services to children's book writers and illustrators as Regional Advisor of SCBWI British Isles.

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