When is it Time for Rhyme?

On point as an overview and a starting place for writing in rhyme for children.

WRITERS' RUMPUS

by Alli Brydon

pic for blog about verseApril is just around the corner, and it’s National Poetry Month! In honor of good ol’ verse, I wanted to talk about rhyme and meter in picture books.

Back when I was an acquisitions editor working in house at a publisher, I was particularly fond of meter and rhyme in kid’s books when it was done well. I’d be the editor my colleagues would go to with a sticky line of verse. But writers always hear that editors don’t want to see rhyming picture books these days. Editors say, stay away from it. I know that advice bristles a bit, especially for those of us who love to write it and those of us who love to read it aloud (*raises hand enthusiastically*).

This is because good verse in a picture book is a super tough thing to nail. End-rhymes need to feel fresh and exciting, sometimes…

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How to Sketch a Fetch-Worthy Picture Book Cover, by Troy Cummings (plus a giveaway)

It’s interesting to watch the progression from initial sketches to finished project.

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

by Troy Cummings

Designing a picture book cover is like housetraining a puppy: it requires lots of patience, there are papers spread all over the house, and it’ll inevitably lead to fits of howling in the middle of the night.

But if you can sniff out the good ideas and clean up your happy accidents, you’ll hopefully wind up with something you’re proud to cuddle up with on the couch.

When I wrangle my picture book covers, I try to explore as many different ideas as possible. I start by sketching a few pages crazy loose brainstormy concepts, and then distill those into half a dozen thumbnail sketches.

I draw my thumbnail sketches at about 1.5″ tall. It forces me to work quickly, make big, bold shapes, and to _not_ get fussy with details. I think it’s best to work in b/w at this point; we can save the color…

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