If you have a toddler, then finding ideas for picture books on a daily basis is very easy to do. If your children are a little older now, reminiscing might be all it takes to come up with a few good ideas!
I am going to go through a typical day spent with my toddler (Hazel) and the different picture book ideas, each activity can bring to light.
In the mornings, we generally go to a toddler group of some description, where Hazel will play with all sorts of toys. When thinking of picture book ideas, I think about the toys she picks to play with, what she might be learning and how she interacts with the other children.
From toddler group, this morning, I thought that we could create a jammed packed picture book adventure story, as she rode on a zebra, crashed a car, fell off a tractor, stood on a turtle and hurtled down a waterfall (okay that was a slide)! I could get photo proof of each of these activities to include in the picture book.
As Hazel has bucket loads of energy, we need to take her for a few walks a day. She loves running around the fields and in the woods. It was her love of nature and looking at trees that inspired us to create a picture book series about the sneaky things that squirrels do when people aren’t looking. There are plenty more animals out there, who could get a similar treatment, not to mention what your pets might do when you are sleeping!
Shopping is a very exciting event for Hazel, she loves walking around shops picking up absolutely everything she can! She also loves chasing pigeons, so they could get the squirrel treatment mentioned earlier. Another good picture book idea might be to be create a shopping treasure hunt that you need to go to different shops for.
When it comes to bath time, Hazel has all sorts of toys in the bath with her. Plenty of ducks and squishy water pistol ones. She has one particular one that is an octopus, but it looks like a pig with eight legs – we call it Pigopus, so we could create a picture book around Pigopus and it’s adventures.
Every night I sing to Hazel and the songs I sing to her are either very modern, or traditional ones. One that I sing to her to help her fall asleep is “Mama’s Going to Buy You a Mockingbird”. The lyrics to this song are in the public domain (so you can make changes to them, as you wish).
We have come up with a few verses that include Daddy a bit more – it’s a work in progress, but the point is there are plenty more nursery rhymes that are in the public domain, which could do with the same treatment – who can come up with a better line than “The Dish Ran Away With the Spoon”?
A note about pictures:
I know that many people are put off creating picture books because they don’t want to (or cannot) draw pictures, in today’s world there are plenty of ways to get around this.
Most people can take a photo, and for some picture books all that is needed is an image on a white (or other colour) background, with a photo manipulation program (like Photoshop or GIMP), this can easily be achieved.
You can also turn photos into black and white sketches (which you could then color in), or into oil paintings, or create all sorts of other effects. It will take a little experimenting to get it to look good, but you don’t have to draw. Failing that, you could go to a site like Fiverr.com and get amazing pictures drawn for you for $5, which you can then legally claim as your own.
I hope you liked these ideas that I shared with you today and that they help you brainstorm and come up with some amazing picture books.
This was a guest post by Lord and Lady Doherty – Parents of the Pen-name “Hazel Nutt”. Hazel Nutt likes blogging her toddler opinions and advice on how to train your parents (http://www.HazelNutt.com) and in her spare time chats to squirrels and writes funny picture books about them (http://www.WhatSquirrelsDo.com)!