Posted by: nancyisanders | July 9, 2012

Picture Book Writing Exercise

From time to time here on my blog this summer, I’ll be posting various suggestions for writing exercises you can do on your own or with your critique group to help improve your picture book writing skills. If you really want to dive into the world of picture books, you can even form your own mentoring group this summer like I did this past year.

Meet together or online in cyberspace 4 or 5 times to discuss favorite picture books you’re reading, evaluate picture books with the same picture book rubric we used in our group, and offer feedback on brand new picture book manuscripts you’re writing. Your picture book writing will never be the same!

Want to learn how to improve your picture book manuscripts by incorporating poetic devises into your writing so that your words spring to life? Try this exercise out for size!

1.Borrow Red Sings From Treetops from the library or purchase it and use it as a reference.

2. Choose one concept to write about that every child learns in kindergarten or first grade such as: colors, shapes, numbers, the alphabet, size, counting, animal names, seasons, days of the week, and days of the months.

3. Familiarize yourself with poetic devices such as imagery, personification, metaphors, and repetition.

4. Write about the concept you chose using poetic devices, just as the author did for Red Sings From Treetops. For example, if you write about size, you’ll write about big. Then you’ll write another piece about medium and another piece about small.

5. Organize these into a picture book manuscript of 500-800 words.

Join the Picture Book Celebration!!!
If you’d like to join in the celebration of picture books going on all summer long here on my blog, click here to find out how to hop on board.

If you’d like to post my logo on your blog, click here to find out how to do this.

If you’d like to visit other sites of picture book writers who are joining in the celebration by posting on their blogs about picture books this summer, click here to find the list. And follow the directions there to add your own blog to the list, too!


  1. Thanks for the post, Nancy. Just wanted to share that I’m reading your book about Frederick Douglass and enjoying it so much! : ) Great work.

  2. Reblogged this on Why I Write Picture Books? (#YIWritePB) and commented:
    I am joining the Picture Book Celebration. Better late than never 😀

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