What makes a good children’s book

November 28, 2009

Just a quick post today, because I don’t have much that I can add to the post I’m pointing you too. Upstart Crow Literary’s Michael Sterns posted a great list earlier this week from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: “List of Attributes That Make a Good Children’s Book.”

Reading these, you’ll probably say, “Yeah, I know,” but even if you already know all 20, which were compiled by Little, Brown editors, a reminder is never a bad idea.

What I found most interesting was that it seemed to me that the list is in order of the most simple to the most complex. Most writers, even beginners, should be doing the first few on the list. But the attributes near the bottom of the list, like writing a book that stands the test of time and writing a book that readers can see new things in even after repeated readings, are things writers learn and achieve, I believe, the more they write.

It’s a great list, something for us all to strive for in our work.

Were any attributes on the list new to you? Anything you’re struggling with?

Write On!

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