Thursday, March 06, 2008

Deconstructing a Picture Book

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!


Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda - I love your insight into the writing process. One of the books that made me go "Oh!" (love that line) recently was Head Case by Sarah Aronson.

When I first read that this book was about a boy paralyzed from the neck down, I wanted to avoid it like the plague. But I stumbled upon it, read the first page, and was hooked. Sarah gives great insight into what this horrible predicament is like, but not with a heavy hand. I read the book in two sittings. I only wish I could get it in the hands of every teen before he gets behind the wheel after he's been drinking. KYM

Brenda Ferber said...

Sounds like a good one, Kym. I'll definitely check it out.