Classics: Writing for Children

Sketch girl in straw hatDo you have a favorite children’s book:  One that you read over and over or had your parent read over and over to you when you were a child?

I ran across an article in my “Save and Read” pile of papers published by Todd Leopold of CNN titled Children’s Books: Classic Reading for Fans.  The information is worth sharing.

First, some of the books that she references include:  Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar Chris Van Allsburg’s The Polar Express, Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon,  and Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.  Children’s books feature characters such as hat-wearing cats, nice girls named Madeline, very hungry caterpillars, and naughty boys named Max.

All of these are children’s picture books, however, some of the ideas on Plot could be a reminder for all stories.  She quotes: “The making of a classic is a strange alchemy of skill – a good story, strong illustrations, and luck.  It’s not easy to appeal to three audiences:  publishers, parent and – oh, yes – children.”

“Every one of them…has the same reassuring pattern of ‘home, away, home,” she says.  “The basic plot begins with a happy family situation.  Then one extremely curious or transgressive child goes out on his or her own.  And, no matter how ‘bad’ the child has been, he (or she) gets to come back home.”….”The child is welcomed back to the family and often gets something to eat,” she adds.

Note:  To give credit where credit is due:  Todd Leopold wrote the article for CNN but she quotes Alida Allison, a San Diego State University English professor and member of the California school’s National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature.

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About Wings of Wonder

Linda Ruddy is a creative and she works in a variety of materials including pencils, paints, paper, porcelain and fabric. Her current projects involve hand-sewn bookbinding, children's book illustrating, and writing. In 2010, two of her paintings were published in the Saddleback College literary magazine, The Wall. In the past, she has received recognition for painting and doll making. Linda lives in California with her husband and family pet. Her new blog can be found at:www.wingsofwonder.worpress.com Please visit often to see how the site develops. Following the muse, Linda Ruddy
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9 Responses to Classics: Writing for Children

  1. Beatrix Potter’s books are my childhood favorites. In particular, The Fierce Bad Rabbit. In my humble opinion, Potter’s books are the perfect combination of story and artwork. 🙂

  2. marilynscottwaters says:

    When I was very little, I love “Go, Dog, Go!” by P D Eastman and “What Do You Say, Dear?” Illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Later, the Oz books and anything with horses. 🙂

  3. JSD says:

    As a child, I constantly read over and over Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Anderson’s Fairly Tales. I was fascinated by them and still have those particular books. But when I look at them now through adults eyes, I think they are horribly scary and won’t read them to my grandchildren. Go figure??

  4. Lots of favourites… but I always loved Shirley Hughes and Hans Christian Anderson.

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