February 2020 comes to a close, with an extra day to finish the Picture Book Marathon. Once again, creating 26 picture books in a month was a rewarding exercise. More than half of my books were fiction, three were versions of ABC books, four played with numbers or counting, three were nonfiction embedded in fiction, and the others played with repetitive phrasing or putting a new twist to an old nursery rhyme.
Are they all prize winners? Of course not! But there might be a seed for a successful rewrite.
Was it easy?
Absolutely not! Some days I spent hours researching animals that I wanted to incorporate into my story. That’s one of the things I love about writing, I am continually learning and then try to pass that on to children in a fun and imaginative way.
Some of my favorite stories this month are those that are ridiculously fun. The impossible happens, the ridiculous runs to extremes, and by the end laughter has lifted child and adult reader beyond this ordinary world.
Another favorite of mine, was a counting to ten book I imagined my 18 month old granddaughter might compose. It was filled with all her favorites, such as ten wild blueberries on her purple plate, which she couldn’t resist eating, and replacing, again and again. When it came to her five favorite colors, they started out all different, but let’s be honest, her favorite color is orange. So she substituted orange for four of the five colors, allowing only yellow to remain in the group.
So you see, the Picture Book Marathon for me was a month to stretch my creativity within a set deadline while underlining my belief, that all learning can and should be fun.