Posted tagged ‘Emma Walton Hamilton’

In the Beginning – Thoughts on Writing

October 15, 2015

As a writer, I find the first page of a picture book to be the most challenging to write. The words you choose to put there are critical. You want to hook your readers immediately and keep them turning the pages. In a picture book, every single word counts. Waste not, want not.

Below are a few examples of beginnings from picture books that kept me turning the pages.

CLICK, CLACK, MOO COWS THAT TYPE written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

“Farmer Brown has a problem.

His cows like to type.

All day long he hears

Click, clack, moo.

Click, clack, moo.

Clickety, clack, moo.”

My thoughts:  Right away the reader knows the farmer has a problem – cows that type. How? Why? Turn the page to find out.

THE BOSS BABY written and illustrated by Marla Frazee, Beach Lane Books.

“From the moment the baby arrived, it was obvious that he was the boss.”

My thoughts:  A baby that’s the boss. I like that! The beginning sentence and Frazee’s humorous illustrations entice the reader to turn the page and read more.

THE VERY FAIRY PRINCESS written by Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton and illustrated by Christine Davenier, Little, Brown and Company.

“Hi! I’m Geraldine.

I’m a fairy princess.

You may not believe me, but I can tell you that I AM.”

My thoughts:  I like this character. She’s upbeat and bold. I want to see why she says she’s a fairy princess. Turn the page.

TOUGH CHICKS written by Cece Meng and illustrated by Melissa Suber, Clarion Books.

“From the moment Mama Hen’s eggs burst open, she knew she was dealing with some pretty tough chicks.”

My thoughts:  Little chicks chip away at their shells, they don’t burst out. What mischief are these tough chicks up to? Turn the page to find out.

The combination of the right words and the creativity of the illustrator can result in a fabulous picture book.

Do you have favorite beginnings that you’d like to share?

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The Princess in Us

May 2, 2013

At a recent writing conference I attended, I won a simply charming picture book in a raffle. The Very Fairy Princess was written by the mother/daughter combo of Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton and was illustrated by Christine Davenier.  

photo (17)

Princess books are in high demand in our school library with the kindergarten and first grade girls. If one girl wants to check one out, they all do. Sometimes, out of curiosity, the boys get involved, too! I guess we secretly all want to be a princess or a prince. If we can’t be one, the next best thing is to read about one.

I highly recommend The Very Fairy Princess. It’s funny and heart-warming. Geraldine, the little fairy princess, is a spunky gal. She has a crown, wings, and shades of pink, purple and red are her favorite colors to wear. This fairy princess is also very practical and dispenses some first-rate advice that is perfect for young children. “You can be whatever you want to be. You just have to let your sparkle out!” If you like this book, you’re sure to enjoy the rest in this series.

Whether it’s a crown, a certain dress, fairy wings, a favorite T-shirt, blue jeans, or a smile, sometimes that one special item makes you feel good inside which makes you shine on the outside. That’s a wonderful thing!

Let your sparkle out today!


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