Posted by: nancyisanders | May 21, 2016

NF PB Journey: 1st Half of the Middle


Here’s a quilt I made that was different than others in that it formed a picture rather than patterns of blocks. The way I STRUCTURED it was different than other quilts I’d made.

That’s what we’re talking about here on my blog this past month…structuring a nonfiction picture book in a different way than perhaps we’ve done before.

We’re using DIRTY RATS? as our mentor text and following its structure to structure our own manuscript.

In the last post we talked about this, we discussed CHANGE 1. This is the change that brings us from the beginning of our manuscript into the middle. The first half of the middle, to be exact.

So today let’s talk about the FIRST HALF OF THE MIDDLE.

Let’s look at the plot chart we made for DIRTY RATS? In the first half of the middle, DIRTY RATS? gives 4 examples of specific kinds of rats that are NOT dirty. One example per spread.

So go ahead and write 4 specific examples of your topic that explores the answer to the question you’re asking, but in a way that is unexpected.

If you want to follow along with DIRTY RATS, you can also add sidebars (or a second layer of text) with information that provides more information to young readers. This adds depth to your manuscript.


  1. I love that quilt, Nancy! It reminds me of the lamppost in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. 🙂

    • You guessed it, Sara! That’s the lamppost itself, for a family member who decorated their nursery in Narnia!!!! It’s in summertime, when Aslan has returned.

      • What a great theme for a nursery! I love those books.

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