Picture Book Prompt 59

“Do I hear the voices of my characters? Are they beginning to talk to me so that when I start to write the dialogue, I’ll have real characters talking? Have I incorporated specific syntax and word choice as part of those voices?”—Linda Seger


Here you have one picture book master recognizing the genius of another! Pick any picture book by Maurice Sendak and look at it from the point of view of the elements listed above: words, rhythm, psychology, design. Then select another picture book you love – no matter who wrote it—and do the same. Your analysis is sure to enhance your writing!

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Picture Book Prompt 58

“Maurice Sendak is the daddy of them all when it comes to picture books—the words, the rhythm, the psychology, the design.”
—Anthony Browne


Here you have one picture book master recognizing the genius of another! Pick any picture book by Maurice Sendak and look at it from the point of view of the elements listed above: words, rhythm, psychology, design. Then select another picture book you love – no matter who wrote it—and do the same. Your analysis is sure to enhance your writing!

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Picture Book Prompt 57

“A stick may become:
• a fishing rod near real or imaginary water
• a spurtle* to stir “porridge” in a mud kitchen
• a tool to nudge a football that is stuck in a tree
• something to throw, float, snap, ping, bend, hide,
add to a pile, burn, tie to something else, split,
catapult or discard.”
—Theresa Casey and Juliet Robinson

* According to Merriam-Webster, a *spurtle* is a chiefly Scottish term meaning “a wooden stick for stirring porridge.” Now you know!


Set your timer for 8 minutes and, without lifting your pen from the paper—or your fingers from the keyboard—make a list of everything a stick could become during imaginary play. Choose one and create a story or picture-book manuscript around it.

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