Books are us, and not just the books we write but also the books we read. Whatever genre you choose to write be sure to read hundreds of books of that type so that you can absorb their essence, their core. Sometimes it is helpful to type other writer's books into your word processor so that you can get the "feel" for that kind of writing. Really become acquainted with children's writing before you write.
In addition you will want to own an excellent dictionary and thesaurus. There are many books out there for the children's writer and I don't have the time or inclination to list all of them, but I will tell you about some of my favorites. I use the Children's Writer's Word Book to check the age appropriateness of some words. I have also found the Beginning Writer's Answer Book helpful with questions about permissions, copyrights, etc. For poetry writers I would recommend The Scholastic Rhyming Dictionary for finding words that rhyme, or some other rhyming dictionary of your choosing. For a good source of information about publishing I would suggest The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books. For a short and to-the-point book on writing for children try You Can Write Children's Books by Tracey E. Dils. Anastasia Suen offers a new approach to writing for kids and teens in Picture Writing. For a humorous but informative look at children's writing you might enjoy It's a Bunny-Eat-Bunny World by Olga Litowinsky.
No children's writer's library would be complete without this years Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market, or CWIM as it is often called. In addition to the market listings you will find agents, contests and other useful listings. Don't skip over the helpful information at the front and the wonderful articles by successful people.
This should keep you reading for awhile. I hope these books will inspire you to write great things!
(c) 2005 Sharon A. Soffe