A question I keep hearing when I am out at an author’s signing is, “How can I write a children’s book? Personally, I write children’s books simply because I enjoy writing for children. I do not have the ability nor the desire to write for adults. I love the response of children’s writer, Isaac Bashevis Singer. When he was receiving a Nobel Prize in Stockholm was asked the question, “Why did you write a children’s book?”
Mr. Singer replied, “There are 500 reasons why I began to write for children but to save time, I will mention the most important. Children read books, not reviews. They don’t give a hoot about the critics. Children don’t read to find their identity, nor do they read to free themselves from guilt or do they have a thirst for rebellion, or to get rid of alienation. Kids have no use for psychology and they detest sociology. Kafka or Finnegan’s Wake they don’t try to understand.
They still believe in God, the family, angels, devils, witches, goblins, logic, clarity, punctuation, and other such obsolete stuff. Children love interesting stories, not commentary, guides, or footnotes. When a book is boring, they yawn openly, without any shame or fear of authority. They don’t expect their beloved writer to redeem humanity. Young as they are, they know that it is not in his power. Only adults have such childless illusions.”
Through books, children actually improve listening skills, become more creative, and learn to solve problems. In answering the question, how to write a children’s book, make sure the story aids children in these critical areas of growth.
Why Do You Want to Write a Children’s Book?
Children reading stories is essential for many reasons. First of all, reading helps to build children’s confidence. The importance of reading increases as they progress through each school-year grade. Also, through stories, children learn about other cultures around the world and about the area where they live. Secondly, through reading books, children learn how to cope with feelings, and about expressing themselves through the use of language.
1. Write a Children’s Book to Build Confidence
Books written in rhythm and rhyme help children learn to read early in life. Through the use of witty rhyme and rhythm, children anticipate the next word or next sentence, thus fostering participation. Easy to remember repetition of phrases builds sequencing skills and vocabulary, increasing children’s ability to read words in print. Playful, colorful pictures promote memorization of favorite words and learning independence.
2. Write to Increase Language
Stories are a great way to introduce language. Reading to infants, not only exposes babies to the sound of a person’s voice, but is actually soothing to them. In fact, it doesn’t matter what words are spoken. The tone, inflection, and rhythm of one’s voice are what’s important. My husband and I read to our babies when they were as young as six weeks old. At the age of three, my daughter spoke in sentences appropriate for a second grader. A school teacher commented to us, “Do you realize she speaks and understands on an advanced level?”
3. Write a Children’s Book to Foster Learning
Reading picture books to infants exposes them to shapes, colors, and letters. Furthermore, concepts of direction such as up, down, inside, outside, forward, and back can be introduced through reading. Many stories help children learn about daily living. Tasks and chores such as brushing one’s teeth, preparing food, taking care of pets, cleaning up their room are essential life skills that can be learned through reading. As a child grows older, reading helps him/her learn how to share, express empathy, and the benefits of kind-heartedness. Books can help children find their voice to appropriately convey feelings of mad, glad, sad, and hurt, to name a few.
4. Write a Children’s Book to Promote Relaxation
Reading a story is especially vital before going to bed. A fun-filled fairytale can help a child relax. Stories can be either real or fantasy. The rhyming and repetition in a picture book, plus the coziness of a parent spending time together, can foster relaxation before going to sleep. Escaping the stresses of their day, children can go on a trip into another time or world for just a little while.
Picture books are meant to be fun to read, inspire imagination, and personal growth. If children are forced, rather than encouraged to read, it may become more work for them than fun. A love of picture books leads to chapter books. Chapter books can lead to education. Education leads to knowledge, and knowledge leads to success. Thus, why write a children’s book? The answer is, to spark the imagination and encourage a lifetime of reading.