Monday, January 19, 2009

Writing Books for Children that Parents Want

One of the most difficult aspects of writing books for children, in my opinion, is writing books that parents will want to read to them, or want them to read, while pleasing the children and making it fun. You are trying to please two audiences at the same time.

In my Rooter and Snuffle book series I tried to make the stories adventurous and fun for the kids while at the same time helping them to deal with sharing, caring about others, dealing with bullies, listening to their parents, not taking what isn't theirs, and other issues children face. My picture book "Nothing Stops Noah" is about perserverance, and problem solving.

You have to balance what children want with what parents want and do it without preaching to the kids. Still, I think it is important that children's books teach them something while entertaining them. Character building is important. Reading is about communication, passing on information, learning.

I would love to know what issues parents and teachers would like to see dealt with in children's books? Are parents and teachers looking for the same thing?


Joy said...

I agree Shari. As children authors we have a task to please the buyer and the audiance with a story that doesn't preach, is fun, has illos that grab the child's attention and that parents feel is a story that reflects the values they are trying to teach their children. What a mouthful! But, we do it and parents are grateful and children enjoy hearing them over and over and over again.
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Helen Ginger said...

When my kids were little, I looked for books that had a hidden message, the kids loved to hear them over and over, and were fun for me to read out loud.

Anonymous said...

As an illustrator, I've got to appeal to both the parent and the child, too, but mostly to the parents since they buy the books. It almost doesn't matter if my style appeals to the kid, because it has to appeal to the parent first.