The journey of writing a picture book isn’t just about sitting down in front of a computer to type. This is one major difference from other types of writing such as writing a novel where you might want to type at least 1000 words a day.
In the journey of writing a picture book there are many pre-writing moments to enjoy as well as the joy of actually crafting words on the printed page.
One of the pre-writing activities we get to have fun with is to find other picture books we want OUR picture book to resemble in format and plot structure. Short of taking a class on how to write a picture book, studying picture books that embody the type of genre we are targeting will help us learn and grow as children’s writers. These picture books will become our mentor texts.
If you already know your topic that you want to write about, embark on a journey to discover at least one current picture book that you want your book to be like. You’re not going to copy the content of the book, but you will be referring to this book in the days and weeks ahead as we’re building our own plot structure.
And if you’ve decided to write a nonfiction picture book about American History and want to follow along with the books I recommend for various exercises, here are three picture books I recommend you order in from your library (or even purchase if you’re on the lookout to add quality picture books to your own personal library of books).
The Camping Trip that Changed America by Barb Rosenstock
[Just a note: This book isn’t pure nonfiction, actually, but most of it is true so it’s a good reference to use if you opt at some point to write historical fiction rather than just straight nonfiction.]
Those Rebels, John & Tom by Barbara Kerley
So You Want to Be President by Judith St. George