PICTURE BOOK FOCUS Making your Non-Fiction Picture Book Unique

In this featureNatascha Biebow shares Top Tips on how to find
a fascinating lens to make your non-fiction picture book unique.


These days, you can Google pretty much anything. In fact, most kids do. So, if you’re aiming to write non-fiction in this competitive market, it has to do something more. It needs to show the facts through a different LENS. When your brain experiences something that doesn’t match up, it sits up and pays attention. It asks WHY? It wants to know more. A child reading a book that does this is an engaged reader. S/he is not just reading a (boring) list of facts, but instead an exciting book on a cool non-fiction topic. Fascinating!

So how can you come up with an unusual lens for hooking in young readers?

PLAY with your idea!

Try listing out your topic’s facts and change:

• The order: What if you turn the events on their head and place them in an illogical or unexpected sequence? Can you create an unusual framework? Can you find a new connection?

• The tone: Will your book’s voice be lively or lyrical, conversational or sassy, goofy or humourous?

• The point of view: Tell your facts from as many different points of view as possible. Surprise yourself! Which one feels different?
• The structure: Can you create a story with an unexpected structure? 

After you’ve done all this, consider how you can make links with your young readers and their lives. It needs to be exciting, but relevant!

Finally, get hold of a collection of books on your topic to compare and contrast 
what's already in the marketplace. Have fun, and PLAY! 
Create a unique take on your topic.

Discover YOUR fascinating LENS!

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 is the author of THE CRAYON MAN 
and 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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