Whimsy, Words, and Wisdom
Definition: Endearing quaintness. The quality of being playfully humorous, especially in an endearing way.
As a children’s writer, whimsy is a good thing to incorporate into your writing. You want your stories to be endearing, playful and humorous.
Paris Street; Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte
This month I feature the picture book SnoozeFEST by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Kristyna Litten published by Dial Books 2015. This book is for 3-5 year olds.
Below is an overview of the book from Penguin.com
Bedtime story meets Coachella in this adorable book about a sloth who packs up his pajamas to attends an arena festival for nappers, dozers, and the very best sleepyheads.Snuggleford Cuddlebun is a champion sleeper. In fact, she’s such a good sleeper that she decides to go to Snoozefest, an arena festival that celebrates sleep. There, she lounges in her hammock while bands like the Nocturnal Nesters and the Quiet Quartet serenade the audience with lullabies. There’s warm milk and honey to be had, designer pajamas from Diane von Firstinbed, and no one dares be seen without a baby blanket. But before she knows it, the nuzzling, snuggling, and dreaming are over—and Snuggleford has slept through it all.
This funny and endearing bedtime story is perfect for anyone who loves sloths, music festivals, and/or cuddles.
Definition: Meaningful combinations of sounds that are a unit of language or its representation in a text.
As a writer, you love words. We use words to communicate and express ideas. We use words to make sentences. We use sentences to make paragraphs. And we use paragraphs to make stories. It’s important to use the best words possible.
This month’s word is – ta da! – FEST. This month’s exercise is to use the word “fest” in a short story, poem, or whatever suits your fancy. Any form of the word fest is acceptable. I encourage you to do each month’s exercises and in six months you will have six pieces of writing with the potential of becoming published. In twelve months, you will have twelve pieces. I say go for it!
Definition: Accumulated knowledge of life or of a sphere of activity that has been gained through experience.
I have been writing for children for over 30 years. I have published eight books and taught several writing classes through the Loft Literary Center, community education and at conferences.
This month’s bit of wisdom is this: If you want to write picture books, you need to read them. Study them and make note of what works in the story for you and what doesn’t. Just be aware of publication dates. What was trendy five or ten years ago, may not be what editors are looking for today. The most important thing is that you don’t just like your story, you must love it or an editor won’t love it. Write from your heart and let your passion show.
Watch for my next blog in early May where I will share more about whimsy, words and wisdom. Til then, choose your words wisely.