Here are six shining writing tips from its pages:
- Make every word count! Besides coming in at just over 250 words, the text fits "It Ain't Gonna Rain No More" perfectly. You could sing the entire story. In fact, as you read it, you want to sing the story.
- Be illustrate-able. I love the pages where the pictures tell as much story as the text. For example, "...there ain't no way that I ain't gonna paint no more" is accompanied by the kiddo on top of a self-made tower to reach the paints on the top shelf of the closet.
- Let the child be the authority. Mama might put the paints away, but that isn't what stops our hero from painting. The end of the adventure comes only when circumstances created by the child main character impose a real stop to the creative process.
- Make the rhyme perfect. The rhyme and meter is so perfect I want to sing the story. That is no accident!
- Relate to children's lives. Is there such a thing as a child who has not been in trouble for drawing where he shouldn't? This instantly makes every reader the main character and they love it!
- Let the story be fun for adults too. After all, they have to read it over and over and over. I still haven't decided if I identify with the Mama or the kid, but I have enjoyed the story many times.
Learning how to write picture books is a challenge that I enjoy daily. In an effort to learn what is successful, I am studying picture books that my children and I love. Lessons in Learning How to Write is a blog series to keep track of brilliant strategies great authors have used to write for children.