~posted by Ruth
Writers are always looking for inspiration, for tips from other writers, and for an understanding of our own and others’ creative processes. It’s no surprise that picture books are a wonderful–and often light-hearted–resource. In our previous post, (Author! Author! Great Picture Books About Being an Author ), we wrote about some of our favorite picture books on this theme. Here’s an update of brand-new books to add to your collection, for writers of all ages.
Battle Bunny by Scieszka, illustrated by Matthew Myers
When you pick up a book by Jon Scieszka, you expect something quirky, different. . .and funny. Battle Bunny is all three. It’s also an ode to children as storytellers and the fun of revising (especially someone else’s work!) In this hilarious tale, Alex receives a sappy story about “Birthday Bunny” and proceeds to turn it into the tale of vanquishing Battle Bunny and his Evil Plan. Everyone I have shared the book with has loved it, from little ones to adults. My friend Kelly, a elementary teacher, told me she would love to give some of the insipid basal readers to kids to have a go at revising those stories in a similar vein. I’m all for it!
Little Red Writing by Joan Halub, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
A new Red Riding Hood version to add to your collection (to see others, check out our Red Riding Hood Flight. ) In this one, Little Red is a brave little red pencil–and instead of making her way through a dark and spooky woods, she is finding her way through the obstacles and perils of writing a story. Little Red sets off with her basket of 15 words–but it’s such a struggle to get through the dense woods thick with descriptions and run-on sentences. You’ll love the invention of the Wolf 3000 electric pencil sharpener, and Principal Granny. Full of puns and word-play, this is a clever and original book sure to delight its readers–and inspire writers.
Ike’s Incredible Ink by Brianne Farley
Most writers will identify right away with Ike’s writing process. It’s hard to get started, so he cleans everything, calls his best friend. . .and still there’s something getting in the way of beginning to actually write. Ah! He needs new special ink, which of course, he has to create himself. His quest takes him on an amazing journey: to the moon, to find feathers from a certain bird, and of course, then he has to mix the ingredients together. Playful, smart, and quirky, this is a book to read over and over, just to appreciate the unique media mix of drawings and digital art, inkblots, and bold images.
Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon
Sometimes the hardest lesson for a writer of any age to learn is that we all have stories to tell. Ralph isn’t so sure his life where “nothing ever happens” has anything interesting enough going on to put on paper. But his classmates have great questions when he tells about a little worm he found in the park, and those questions help break through his writer’s block. Love the invented spelling that is honored throughout the book!
For more suggestions, see Author! Author! Great Picture Books About Being an Author