Writing Children’s Books for Dummies
By Lisa Rojany Buccieri and Peter Economy
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
Trade Paperback, 355 pages, $19.99
Reviewed by Mayra Calvani
Writing Children’s Books for Dummies is one of those complete, easy-to-use guides that should be on the shelf of any writer who is serious about writing and publishing children’s books. Having read most of the reference books on this subject on the market today, I can say this is right there among the best and well worth its price.
The structure of the book is clear and easy to handle, the language straight forward and to the point. No matter which aspect of children’s writing or publishing you’re interested in, you only have to look in the table of contents to find it. The authors use interviews and illustrations to present their ideas in a more engaging manner. They also utilize icons to stress important ideas or points. For example, special icons are used for “Tips” (expert advice), “Remember” (important information to store in your brain for later recall), “Warning” (avoiding mistakes), and “Ahead of the Pack” (new and innovative topic). At the end of the book there are five lined pages for note taking, quite practical for those readers who like to take notes as they read.
Everything from formats and genres, understanding the market, setting up your workspace, coming up with ideas, researching, creating compelling characters, the mechanics of writing (conflict, climax, dialogue, setting, point of view, tone, theme, etc.) to editing and formatting, illustrating, finding agents and publishers, the publishing process and much, much more. You’ll even find more than ten great sources for compelling storylines, as well as helpful tips on promoting your work. In short, all the information you’ll need to succeed as a children’s book author.
Whether you choose to read from cover to cover or jump straight to the topic of your choice, Writing Children’s Books for Dummies will prove to be an indispensable reference and amalgam of helpful information for your writing career, as well as a fecund source of ideas for articles. Highly recommended for both fiction and non-fiction writers, students of children’s literature, and writing teachers.