Picture Book Prompt 47

A hero needs two things: a loyal friend and a tireless enemy.
—Fernando Savater

What might a loyal friend look like to a five-year-old? How about a tireless enemy?

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Picture Book Prompt 46

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row.
—Nursery rhyme

Write about a character who is “contrary,” whatever that might mean to you.

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Picture Book Prompt 45

“Sometimes all you can do is say, ‘Wow.’”
—Kevin Henkes

“Wow!” is the ultimate expression of awe and wonder. Think of some events and situations that a child might find to be worthy of a Wow! Dig deep and write about it.

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Picture Book Prompt 44

“Sometimes I don’t want to talk about it. Not to anyone. No one. No one at all.
I just want to think about it on my own.
Because it is mine. And no one else’s.”
—Michael Rosen’s Sad Book

Like adults, children sometimes need to be quiet, to feel and to process what they’re going through. Write about something that a child might not be ready to share, and what they might tell themselves about the situation.

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Picture Book Prompt 43

You can never read a poem too slowly, but you can certainly read one too fast.
—Stephen Fry

This is a reading prompt rather than a writing one! Find one of your favorite picture books and read it as slowly as you can. Stop at the end of each word. Stop at the end of each line. Read it. again. Feel the language!

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Picture Book Prompt 42

“Grown-ups do a lot of complaining!” —Dav Pilkey

Grown-ups really do complain a lot!
What is it that grown-ups might complain about? How might those complaints feel or sound like to a child?

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Picture Book Prompt 41

I Can!
(Can be acted out)
I can tie my shoelace,
I can comb my hair,
I can wash my hands and face
And dry myself with care.
—Nursery rhyme

List all the things a three- or four-year-old is newly competent at doing and how they might feel about it. Write about one or all of them.

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Picture Book Prompt 40

When we are really young, adults are mysterious. . . .
We don’t know what adults are doing. And they’re hiding it from us.
—Joyce Carol Oates

Think of something that a child might imagine an adult is hiding from them.
Or how a child might imagine a perfectly ordinary adult activity.
Write about it.

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Picture Book Prompt 39

It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.
—Tom Robbins


Think of an event or incident in your childhood that didn’t go the way you would have liked. Write about how it might have been different. What would have to have happened to make it go the way you would have liked? Alternatively, think back to a golden moment in your life as a child—or imagine one. Write about that. Write everything you can remember.

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Picture Book Prompt 38

If you don’t see the book you want on the shelves, write it.
—Beverly Cleary

What book or books would you like to see on the shelf? Make a list. Pick one idea and explore it.

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