If you were a writer, you could write on many subjects. Hardly a day passes when you don’t find yourself writing something. It could be as mundane as penning a note to a friend or as profound as writing a formal speech. Either way, you are a writer. How professional you strive to be is another matter.
Determine where you want to be on that writing scale. In other words, if you were a writer—which you are—what would you write? Hmmm. Be open to ideas. Meditate on them.
Suppose there’s the birth of a baby. Or there’s a child’s birthday looming. What gift can you bring that would be meaningful and cherished?
This article is geared toward writing a book for a child. If you want to write and publish books on a more professional level, the process will be more involved. You would need to delve deeper into the many steps of the process.
You will want to get an overall feel for the craft of writing a children’s book.
It's important to know key points of writing a children's book because although “a good children’s book should appeal to young readers, a book that’s entertaining to the adults in their lives is an added perk and ensures the book will get read often (instead of hidden beneath the stack)" (Calonia).
For a book to stand out, it must exude a certain amount of professionalism. This article assumes that you have a good grasp of the basic rules of writing a story:
Of course, if your book teaches the A, B. C’s to children, you don’t need to have conflict and tension. But if it goes beyond this, it does need to have these characteristics to some degree. If you want to write children’s books for a living, you will want to take courses on how to do this.
I asked myself: If you were a writer, what would you write? Then I realized that since I am a writer, I would write a book for a baby who was recently born into my family. I’ll call her Kari. I wanted to give her a gift that I knew no one else would give her. And I knew my gift, if done masterfully, would be a lasting treasure for her.
I decided to include Kari in the popular fairytale stories and give her a voice where she could use adult words. Kari described her feelings as a baby, as well as describing what she saw as she rowed her little boat through fairytale land.
Her parents had sent me pictures of her without knowing I was writing a book about her. One of the pictures they sent me was of two-month-old Kari in a tub of water with her wearing a helmet of soap suds.
I had gotten the picture of a cartoonish bathtub from Pixabay. I uploaded it along with Kari’s picture to Canva. There, I removed the background and put Kari in the tub. It became this picture with the text: “Rub-a-dub-dub, [Kari] in a tub.”
The book, Sometimes in Dreams, begins when baby Kari describes her environment:
“I dream a lot. I see things that are even more curious than the ones I see when I’m awake. I don’t use or understand words. I get impressions and symbols and pictures. I don’t much understand these either, but they are usually pleasant enough. It’s when sensations are tangled and noisy and sudden and overbright that send me into a bad mood. Uh-huh. That’s why I sometimes get flustered and do a strong cry.”
As Kari rows her little boat through fairytale land, she comes upon the Three Little Pigs, building their homes of various materials. She stops briefly to give them a bit of sage advice. “The Big Bad Wolf is coming! He’ll huff and puff and try to blow your houses down. Build them all of brick.”
She further encounters The Hare and the Tortoise, The Big Bad Wolf, and she’s even been invited to the Pease Porridge cafe by Jack Spratt and his wife.
Kari’s parents and others who saw the book were awed by its uniqueness.
My friend has an expansive backyard garden. Her young granddaughter thinks it’s a secret garden. On a visit to see the granddaughter, I wanted to bring her a gift. How about taking her a book that I would write just for her? Pictures of her would be in it, too.
If you were a writer, would you write a book like this? Here’s an excerpt from the book, [Jasmin] and the Secret Garden. Part one of the book is from the cat’s point of view (POV):
“Hello. I am a cat named Graystone. My home is in a garden that’s filled with secrets. The garden talks to me. It tells me its secrets. My little human loves the garden. It talks to her, too. But she hears and sees and understands it a little differently from me."
A Marigold flower growing nearby says, “I love it when people smile at me. They say I am pretty.”
“You really are very pretty, Mari,” [Jasmin] says. A rush of red seeps into Marigold’s yellow petals. She’s blushing.
It’s been years since I wrote this book for my friend’s granddaughter. My friend tells me that Jasmin still looks at the pictures and reads the book from time to time.
I emphasized the conflict in these two books. Kari, in her book, Sometimes in Dreams, comes face to face with the Big Bad Wolf and experiences other tense entanglements. Jasmin, in her book, [Jasmin] and the Secret Garden, must rescue her grasshopper friend from the web of a huge robotic spider.
If you were a writer, would you write books to give as gifts? If you’re not a prolific writer, one perk is that books for children are not usually long or highly sophisticated. A few pages will do. However, books for young adults tend to be longer.
Explore the different types of books that are available for children. Browse the children’s section in Barnes & Noble, for instance.
Self-publishing can be a no-brainer. For my two books, I wrote them in a Word document. Along with any personal pictures and pictures from Pixabay, I uploaded it all to Canva. There, I removed any unwanted background in the pictures and created my cover for the books.
(You can also explore (AI) artificial technology to have it create pictures for you.)
I then put a copy of the cover and my book (document) on a flash drive and had Staples print it. I chose to have it made as a spiral booklet with a clear cover overlay. It was surprisingly inexpensive.
The picture below shows the cover before the binding.
If you were a writer, you might consider writing children’s books.
"You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” —Madeline L’Engle
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” —Albert Einstein