If you are considering writing books for children, the first piece of advice I would give is to read LOTS and LOTS of books for children. Simple, right? For the past ten years, I have been reading children’s books like a part-time job. Seriously. I almost always have a bag full of library books in our house and will throw a few in my purse when I’m heading out and might have some downtime to read. I also usually have a young adult or middle grade novel playing on CD in my car. Being an elementary school teacher is a bonus because I get to read even more books to my students.
Reading children’s books is the best research you can do if you want to hone your craft as a writer and find your unique voice. You can see all the books I’ve read and recommended each month here.
A perfect way to start reading for research is to join The ReFoReMo Challenge! ReFoReMo is Reading for Research Month. Here’s the description from the website:
“The ReFoReMo Challenge, or Reading for Research Month Challenge, was founded in 2015 to help picture book writers reform writing by reading and researching mentor texts in the month of March. The challenge is supported by educators, authors, illustrators, editors, and literary agents in addition to a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction picture book recommendations. We welcome classrooms, educators, writers, illustrators, and publishing professionals to learn with us.”
Doesn’t this sound exciting? I haven’t participated before, but I signed up today and you should too. The suggested picture books for each day of March are listed here. I’ve already reserved a bunch from my library and can’t wait to dive in! Click on the picture below for more information and to sign-up. Happy reading!