Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A certain philosophy on kiddie lit

Like most people, I live my life by certain personal beliefs. I'm not a church goer, nor do I care about the NFL, NBA or NHL. But that's beside the point...

I also have certain beliefs when it comes to children's books.

I've recently extended my writing reach into children's literature with my crime-fighting duo Furball and Feathers, but one thing some people always ask is, "Why are there no pictures? Children's books need pictures!"

That is an incredibly ignorant question and statement, at least in my opinion. Why? Why do books aimed at children have to have pictures? Is it because that's how it's always been done in the past? Do you think kids need pictures in order to read it?

Bollocks.

One of the things I've learned in the past few years is to never underestimate children. There are some children who want to learn how to read a book with only words, much akin to the books mommy and daddy are reading.

I make my children's books short, less than 10,000 words, which is enough for a young child to read in one sitting. Add in entertaining characters--Furball and Feathers are bipedal cat and bird crime fighters with alter egos--and you have a story that children WANT to read.

When they're done reading the picture-less book, look at their faces. Have they accomplished something? Have they read a book like mommy and daddy, or have they read something that underestimates their intelligence? More than likely, you can answer yes to the first part.

Food for thought: Do you want your child to excel, or do you want to hold them back? You may be surprised at what your child can do.

www.seansweeneyauthor.com