I had a family get-together on Saturday, so my book review plans were postponed until today. My 10 year old helped me with the choices today, all from a visit to Barnes & Noble. There are some good ones today, all very different and all very new– nothing more than 2 months old, people! This industry changes quickly!
As I mentioned in my last post, I am a mentor for a new writing contest called “FicFest” — I recently read all 71 picture book entries and decided on one of them which I will be mentoring for the next 8 weeks in order to make it shine for the “agent round.” It’s already in pretty good shape and I’m excited to work with the author as I think we have a lot in common. It’s daunting to be a mentor when you’re not published yourself– it’s very easy to let the insecurities take over because, really, why should she listen to me, right? So, before I start my book reviews today, I remind all of you that I’m just one reader: you may love or hate anything I talk about today regardless of my opinion. However, after reading 71 picture books in three days, I can also tell you it gives you a Heck of an education! Some of it is humbling: there are amazing writers out there with some breadth of knowledge and depth of experience that is totally inspiring. And at the same time, some of it reminds me that in my 44 years on the planet I have actually accumulated some knowledge and experience myself: I’ve got skills in poetry, in pacing a story, in writing a good cover letter, whatever. It also reminds me that one of the best ways to become a good writer is to read more.
And as part of that goal, I bring you today’s 5 picture book reviews. I hope they help you– either to choose your next book to read, or to find some insight about your own writing.