How a Picture Book is Made - Historical Fiction version
This "behind-the-scenes" look at bookmaking focuses on my book Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing. I reveal a book's journey from idea to bound book, including:
- how writers get ideas
- the research involved
- the writing process, including beginning-middle-end and sensory details
- revision, revision, and more revision
- the submissions and editorial process
- the sketch stage
- how the final art was created
- the print/production stage
Visuals include research notes, marked up manuscripts, sketches/artists' dummy, a piece of final artwork, and press sheets from the book. In discussing how one particular book was made, I hope to give students a sense of an author's average day/week. I ask the students many question as I go, inviting their participation. If time allows at the end, I engage the students in an interactive group writing project.
This program lasts about 45 minutes, which includes time for questions. The presentation can be scaled up or down for grade 1 through adult audiences and supports Common Core Language Standard 5, Reading Literature Standards 5 (grade 2), and Reading Informative Text Standards 6 and 7.
I have worked as an editor at HarperCollins Children's books and as a children's bookseller and reviewer. I currently work at Studio Goodwin Sturges, a representative for children's book illustrators in Providence, RI, so I bring an informed, well-rounded perspective to the bookmaking process.