“When Words Connect”


I’m working on a rough draft of a new picture book and I must say I’m quite excited by it. The subject is fun and wacky and so is the writing. One of the things I find thrilling is the process of connecting the words together – almost like a puzzle. A beautiful flowering puzzle.

Every writer, particularly the children book writer, needs to make every word count, needs to weigh every word for meaning, substance, readability for the young mind, and of course entertainment value.

I love puns and imagination – so do children. That’s where snapping words together comes in. Sometimes the process of writing is either a solid smooth piece or it is many jagged fragments.

Maybe it depends on the writer’s mood on a certain day of writing, when the words come out either forced, or they flow. Nonetheless, the writer must work on the puzzle to craft it to fit into a dazzling manuscript.

It’s a great feeling when words and thoughts connect into a cohesive story that can bond with the child reader for the rest of his or her life. Stories I still carry with me inside from childhood are: all Dr. Seuss books, The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, Lad A Dog, Eloise, Beautiful Joe, Curious George, and Good Night, Good Knight.

Your input: If you’re a writer, what helps you put the puzzle pieces together? As a reader, what children’s books have stuck with you through your childhood into adulthood?