I haven’t shared this on here, but I have been writing picture books for several years now. Recently, I signed with an Agent… which means I’m one step closer to getting traditionally published!
There is one thing that gets a bit confusing though when you’re both a Mom Blogger and a Picture Book Author. As a parent, it’s easy to write from the perspective of a parent. But picture books are not for parents – they are for children. Sure, parents can enjoy them. But that is not who they are for. Not sure what I mean? Here’s an example of something I wrote today called Newborn Pajamas:
People wear me at night.
When they’ve had a long day.
When they are done with tight fitting jeans.
When they want to get into their cozy beds.
Hi. I’m Pajamas.
But not just any pair of pajamas…
“Size: Newborn. This will be perfect for her,” the Mom said.
Out of all the options, she picked me.
I was brought home and hung neatly in the closet.
Until one day, I heard a cry for the first time.
A screech. A whimper. A new baby.
The Mom put me on her.
Within minutes, I was covered in explosive poop. Gross.
Time for the laundry.
Over and over and over.
Before I knew it, this baby was fitting into bigger things: 0-3 months then 3-6, then 6-9.
And I was tucked away in a bin.
Out of sight, out of mind.
Longing, but ready whenever I was needed.
Before I knew it, I was back, hanging in another closet.
And I heard it. A familiar, but different cry.
The Mom put me on someone new.
Someone just as tiny.
This time, I was a little stretched out around the neck.
A bit baggy around the feet.
I was quickly covered in spit up. Gross.
Over and over and over.
Just as I’m getting comfortable, I’m placed back into the bin.
Will this be the end of my story?
Finally… I find myself hanging in a new closet once again.
I hear a cry. A new one? Could it be?
The Mom puts me on a third person.
My button has trouble fastening at the top.
The zipper gets stuck most of the time.
The arms are certainly a little longer than they should be.
But the Mom keeps choosing me.
For that tiny sliver of time…
When the baby is so small.
She smells the scent when I’m fresh out of the laundry.
Knowing that after this one, it’s the end of the Newborn size.
I’ve kept three babies warm.
I’ve kept three babies snug.
And I’ve kept three babies looking great (if I do say so myself.)
Even with the poop stains…
the spit up…
the spilled bottles…
the dribbled coffee (oops)…
the saline drops…
the diaper leaks…
I still remind her.
Of a flash of time
When all three babies were small enough
To fit snug inside.
As a parent, I get emotional and nostalgic thinking back to when my children were tiny. But are children going to pick this book to read over and over? No. They don’t get it… or care really. Are parents with more/less than three children going to love this book? Maybe, but it’s for parents with three children. This target audience is too small and this “picture book” is not even for children.
As all Authors know, some ideas are great. Other ideas just don’t work – like this one. Here is a quick glimpse into the mind of a Picture Book Author. Onto the next idea…