Pecking Out a Picture Book

If you want to get your book published, you can’t be a chicken. So it says in The Plot Chickens written and illustrated by Mary Jane and Herm Auch. This humorous picture book cracks me up! It has great wordplay and colorful illustrations. More importantly, this book, published by Holiday House, Inc., is a wonderful motivational tool to use when teaching the elements of writing to young children. It’s eggs-actly what you need!

The basic rules of writing are introduced by would-be author, Henrietta, in her manuscript, “The Perils of Maxine.” This chick writes about what she knows, has a main character, a problem, a plot, plot development, suspense, and uses the five senses to make her story come alive. Following the rules should make Henrietta’s book a winner, but, alas, she finds that the publishing industry is a hard egg to crack. Henrietta doesn’t brood long over her rejection. She decides to make her own book. Even though her book receives a bad review, she discovers that the children at the library are scrambling to listen to it, and that makes Henrietta a very happy chicken. Buk! Buk!

This book is a good learning lesson for all writers. It reminds us we must work hard to perfect our craft before we find success. As they say in the industry, “Break an egg!”

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