As a parent, I read a lot of children's books. Almost every time I pick up one of these literary masterpieces, I can't help but stare in amazement at the words in front of me. It's hard to believe that such a delightful work of art was conceived of, written, edited, printed, distributed, and sold by and to adults.
Now, these books are clearly written by talented professionals at the top of their game. They're all unique and wonderful, each in their own special way. However, if you study these gems as much as I have, you will notice subtle similarities among them.
In fact, I was able to synthesize these similarities, as subtle as they are, into a framework of sorts. This framework (which I call Child Readership Authoring Plan) can be used by non-talented un-professionals nowhere near the top (or even the middle) of their game to write their very own children's book.
And so, without further delay, I present to you this framework. Please use it responsibly.
1. Pick a name
The first step is to pick a name. It should be common, but not too common, fashionable, but not too fashionable. And it should preferably be a girl's name.
For my book, I'll pick Wendy.
2. Rhyme it
Next, find an adjective that rhymes with the name from step 1. It could be any adjective at all. It doesn't need to be related in any way to the story you'll write. It just has to rhyme.
Hmm, let's see, what rhymes with Wendy… How about Bendy? Yes, Bendy Wendy, sounds great!
2b. Check name for appropriateness
Make sure that the adjective name combo you ended up with is appropriate for a children's book. For this step, I would recommend running your idea by an editor or spouse.
It has been pointed out to me that Bendy Wendy may not work. My bad, I see what I did wrong there. No problem, I'll change it to Trendy Wendy.
3. Get some words
Next, get a random collection of words. Again, they don't have to make sense as a collection or be meaningful in any way, they just have to rhyme. In case you have trouble coming up with words on your own, I'd recommend a site like rhymezone. Pro tip: if you aren't able to get enough real words that rhyme, feel free to make some up.
For my book, I came up with the following: bike, spike, mike, like, alike, tyke, and trike. Also, just to be safe, I made up fyke and drike.
4. Rhyme them
You're finally ready to write something. Remember that it's not at all necessary for your story to be interesting, educational, life affirming, or morally unambiguous. In fact, it doesn't even have to make sense.
All it has to do is sound as cute as possible. Also remember that no amount of alliteration, no matter how labored, is too much. The same is true for repetition.
Here's what I came up with:
Trendy Wendy Sees a Bike
On her Sunday morning hike
With her fluffy kitty Fyke,
And her little brother Mike,
And his fluffy doggy Drike
Trendy Wendy saw a bike
Chained with something to a spike.
"Wowy wow, this bike I like!"
Trendy Wendy said to Mike
And his fluffy doggy Drike
Who was looking at the bike.
"Great for boys and girls alike,
Let's unchain it from that spike!"
"I too like this snazzy bike,
It is very nice!" said Mike.
"But it's too big for a tyke,
So don't unchain it from that spike!
Trendy Wendy, Fyke, and Drike,
Let's go home and ride my trike."
So there you have it, a brand new children's book written using a simple 4 step framework in roughly 20 minutes (your results may vary). Feel free to use this framework to unleash the majesty of the written word.
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