But what I also found is a hidden gem of a book that I think children's writers will love.
The first few chapters are really geared more toward education. However, chapters 5 and 6 are what hold valuable information.
Chapter 5: Fiction Lesson Sets: Ten Texts, Thousands of Possibilities
Chapter 6: Nonfiction Lesson Sets: Moving from Narrative to Informational Writing
Although these are only two chapters of the book, they actually take up over half of the book.
Shubitz basically takes ten recently published picture books and deconstructs them through multiple lenses. As an educator, the point is that we use picture books as our "mentor texts" to show students how the real published authors accomplish successful writing. And isn't that what we as potential children's authors do as well? (If you're smart, you do.)
Take a look at all the ways she analyzes these mentor texts. These charts showcase the lessons included for each type of craft move.
So if you are a writer wanting to become more effective in show don't tell, she gives you eight different lessons from eight different picture books that showcase this craft move.
If you are a nonfiction writer wanting to see how what effective leads and endings look like, she highlights ten different lessons with ten different picture books. (And actually it's twenty because leads and endings are separate.) And each type of lead and ending are different. For example a lead can open with a simile, or one that opens by developing setting, or an imagine type of lead, or a lead that opens with a letter to the reader.
Each lesson follows a structure:
Power Craft Move: (Such as Lead, Ending, Precise Words etc...)
Name the Craft: (Such as which type of leads: Simile, Developing a Setting, Imagine)
Why authors do this: (She explains the specific reason why authors would use this exact craft move.)
How to do this: (This part tells you which part of the book to study so you can see how the author does this.) This section also always ends with a part called "Invite the students" and includes questions to ask the students so they can begin thinking about how they can try this craft move.
For more information about Craft Moves and to preview the book online check it out at Stenhouse Publishers.
Mondays with Mandy or Mira consists of Mandy Yates and Mira Reisberg. Mira is the founder of the Children's Book Academy and was so impressed with Mandy when she was a student in one of the interactive courses, that she invited Mandy to share the blog. Mandy has as an MFA in creative writing from Spalding University and has been published multiple times in Highlights Magazine. We hope you enjoy and find our offerings helpful.
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