Thursday, May 11, 2017

Reading to children and writing to the reader



Art by Samantha Vogelsang
You can learn more about Samantha: HERE
Reading to your infant, can sometimes be a challenging event.

Whether you read from an e-reader, book, or from your monitor; you will usually be holding your child and pointing out images.  Regardless of the medium you are reading from, good illustrations are fun for the child. (I know, so far this is all very obvious, give me a moment I'm going somewhere here)

So illustrations in your book for the very young child need to have something that helps capture the child's attention.  Something that makes the child want to hold the book and explore it.  Soft colors that are distinguishable from one another, incorporated in an image to help draw the child's interest.

Reading with your child, is a wonderful bonding experience.  Seeing an infant point to pictures, hearing a toddler say "Ball" or "tree" and pointing them out, and then hearing your young child read on their own are all wonderful moments.

So when you are writing for children, keep in mind that for books written for very young children such as toddlers, the parent will be reading.  Tie your images to those words and make things easy for that parent.

Example: "The Dog played with the ball"
Make the Dog distinguishable from the background/setting images and make the ball a bright color that is easily picked out from the background.  You want the child to be able to associate words to images somewhat, but you also don't want to force a parent to search an image for the dog or ball.

A few points to consider:

People reading to children want a pleasant experience too.  They want the child they are reading to, to have an enjoyable memory with them.

Write for bringing joy to the children.

When writing for very small children, don't include scary figures.  Let the bad guys be mean but not frightful.  They can be bad guys by being rude, they don't need to mangle puppies!

An underlying moral to the story is fine.  It reassures the person who may be reading to the a small child that your book is a good influence for the child.  Honesty, for example, is a big lesson for small children, and one that can have a really positive influence on their lives.  Writing a story where a small young character, someone the child can relate to, is confronted with a question of whether to lie or tell the truth affords a chance to teach the virtue of honest.  It can also be fun to write!

Please remember:  Create and bring Joy through your words.

I write under the pen name W.S. Quinton
I hope you will join me again, for more of my exploration of writing books for children.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

Thank you for reading.