There's a well-known saying that quiet books don't sell but I'd like to disagree. Quiet books do sell, though usually not as well as raucous plot–driven books. However, books like Deborah Underwood's The Quiet Book and Dianna Aston's nature based metaphor-driven books have been very successful. Smaller more literary imprints tend to publish quiet books, win awards, and get loved on many levels. Now more than ever in this fast-paced world, quiet, reflective books are needed.
So what are the man qualities of a quiet book?
They're usually gentle concept books focused on a specific topic or idea (eg Baby Bear Sees Blue focuses on colors) or character-driven books with exquisite language and equally exquisite illustrations. Here are some oldies but goodies from when we were the Picture Book Academy. Let us know what you think of these or if you have any quiet books that you love.
Unfortunately for the students, they were not given a chance to actually brainstorm. They were given a web to organize their thoughts. And this is where the problem begins. How is it possible to organize something that doesn't exist?
Can you imagine if Jeff Kinney was in an elementary class right now and his teacher told him to organize his thoughts into a box or a web? First of all, he would receive an F or an N or a 0 for failure to complete the assignment.
Because this assignment that should be completed in a very short time is taking him 4 months just to get ideas!
It's unacceptable in a school setting, but it's reality as a writer.
I realize time is always an issue in education. We are always trying to "cover" material in a given amount of time. But we know covering isn't teaching and it would be nice if we could make school more real life based and not so artificial.
If we could allow our students to brainstorm for 4 months, imagine the kind of award-winning writers they might become.
And speaking of real life writing and taking time out of life just to brainstorm, it's my favorite time of the year again. PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) hosted by the amazing author Tara Lazar, a girl who knows and values the time and process it takes to brainstorm.
Everyday during the month of November Tara will have guest posts by incredible authors who will share their thoughts and ideas about brainstorming. This month of blog posts will inspire current and future writers, but it is also a wealth of information for teachers of writing.
For more information check out www.piboidmo.com.
Sorry about the delay, but my blog post will be published later on Monday evening. Thanks for being patient!
There seems to be a resurgence happening in board books, which is super exciting for children's book creatives as they are lots of fun to do. Because they are for the youngest children - generally 0-2 or 3, they tend to be very simple short texts introducing kids to concepts like colors, animals, cars, farms, seasons, holidays, emotions etc. Language is usually fun and bouncy with great rhythm. Illustrations tend to be shape-based - bold, simple, and graphic making it easy for developing vision to differentiate between objects and follow along.
Novelty board books take the form to a whole other level as you'll see in this video as well as in my last Mondays with Mira below that in the video review of Paul Zelinsky's retelling of the Wheels on the Bus song. I hope you enjoy the video :)
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with Clear Fork/Spork editor/art director, former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays feature funny Aussie author Sharon Giltrow sharing awesome Aussie books.
And 5th Mondays will feature Libyan American author Koloud Tarapolsi sharing wonderful diverse books.