I am fortunate enough to be in a critique gorup with the fabulously talented Bonny Becker.
Bonny is the author of the wonderful picture book, A Visitor for Bear, as well as many other books. When Bear recently won the 2009 E.B. White Read-Aloud award (as well as several other awards) I was thinking that this was one of those times it would be fun for her to have a blog so she could talk about the experience.
Since Bonny doesn’t blog I offered her my blog space to put together a post to speak to her fans. She said she would like to talk about writing picture books so if you have any questions for Bonny about writing picture books, please post them here and I’ll pass them on to her.
Ooh! Can’t wait for Bonny’s post. I lovelovelove A Visitor for Bear. 🙂
picture book illustration
bonny: i’m working on a picture book. though not yet written, i have most of my story well in hand. in fact, i have plans and a well-articulated vision for spinning this particular story concept and set of characters into a series. i also have a couple illustrators who want to jump on board. how ironclad is the conventional wisdom that a picture book author should not go to publishers with illustrations in hand? i have some ideas i’d like to pursue re the illustration style, and i especially like the idea of a close collaboration with the illustrator. will that limit my options and strategies for finding a publisher? or might it strengthen my hand–particularly if i choose to pursue a somewhat non-conventional approach to selling the story/series? can you articulate the pros/cons of both approaches? thank you. (mikael)
I’m looking forward to the interview. I’ve enjoyed looking around your site. You might ask her ‘was this book rejected any before getting published?’ If so, did she rewrite it any before sending it out again?
I’m hugely curious
When Bonnie wrote the manuscript for “A Visitor For Bear,” did she envision it as a standard-length 32 page picturebook? At what stage in the process did it make the leap to 48 pages? It’s a very unusual length for a picturebook, and yet having read it multiple, multiple times with my kid, it doesn’t READ long. I look forward to the interview, and again, I’m hugely curious about how this “rule/guideline” got broken…
Thanks for the opportunity to help shape the discussion,
Once I saw in an article (paper!) that Cynthia Rylant, who is one of my long-time heroines in writing for young readers, said one of the best things, & actually maybe she said the best thing, is to go outside & play.
& then it follows that this perfectly normal approach to life then seeps into our writing, follows from our happy brains, down our arms, to our wrists, our fingers & keyboards.
What are some of your ways of staying full of the loveliness of life. It’s clear you do this from your works.
And huge kudos to youdos for the E.B. White Award!
~ jg in tallahassee
& thank you susan for this idea here…
Jan Godown Annino
(added, because didn’t intend to be Anon.)
Oh, yes. This is what true love looks like and does. (Your poem brought a tear to my eye — lucky you!)