I believe the best way to learn to write is to read like a writer. So when I find a book to love, I analyze it to see how the author crafted it. The Illinois chapter of SCBWI has a fabulous on-line newsletter called The Prairie Wind. It comes out four times a year, and I write a column for it called Book Look: Books That Make You Go "Oh!" (That "oh" is supposed to be both a light bulb moment, excitement, and awe all rolled into one.)
For this issue, I analyzed the structure of Fancy Nancy, by Jane O'Connor. If you are an aspiring picture book author, you might find my column helpful.
There are many terrific articles in the Prairie Wind. Be sure to read them all! And if you've read a book that made you go oh, please tell me about it in the comments. Thanks!