PICTURE BOOK FOCUS Creating Compelling Back Matter

In this featureNatascha Biebow shares ideas for how to be
creative with back matter in your non-fiction picture book


Back matter can be mistaken as an excuse to dump in everything that didn’t fit in the main story book. The trouble with this is that big blocks of extra text can often be too dense, so that young readers will most likely not engage with these pages. But, if used cleverly, back matter can add extra insights and layers to your non-fiction picture book.

You know all that awesome research you found on your subject that doesn’t fit into the main story arc? Well, here are some ways you can use it as an exciting opportunity to further engage with young readers about your chosen topic:

Isn’t it marvellous how each book’s back matter is a fitting extension of the topic, both visually and in terms of the content? These extra pages fit seamlessly with the style and voice of the main book!

Here are some other important elements that can feature in your back matter:

Author’s note: You can use the author’s note to:

- Tell readers the not so happy parts such as when someone died or how
- Explain the historical context or similar background to your story
- Elaborate on your sources and research

Selected sources: This is essentially your bibliography. Be sure to show that you’ve done your research by including primary as well as secondary sources. If you’ve used quotes in your book, these should be referenced here as well.

Acknowledgments: Here you can acknowledge sources, experts and other people who have made the production of the book possible.

When pitching your non-fiction picture book idea, be sure to tell editors your ideas for the back matter and how it can extend and further engage young readers about your topic.

Be creative!

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 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Natascha. I love back matter -to read and to write.


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