By Janet Fix, wordshaper :: Reading to children is such a joy, particularly if the story is filled with plenty of opportunity for showing off my thespian skills. The kids love it. But it’s the story that gets me there, and so I wanted to offer a few simple guidelines that make a children’s story a dynamite opportunity for bonding and fun.
From a child’s perspective:
1. Characters with pet peeves, weird personality traits, or silly quirks are super fun. We can imitate them, laugh about them, and dream about them.
2. Please give us a plot to sink our teeth into! We don’t want mamby pamby. We aren’t afraid of a little tension and conflict, and look forward to an ending we can wonder about all through the story!
3. Use fun words, like mamby pamby. We like verbs and nouns we can hear, taste, see, and feel! Give us a rhythm, a pace, a jolt!
4. Give us pictures — cool, funny, funky pictures. We aren’t picky about perfection, we just want to see the kind of artwork that makes us want to flip through the book and talk about it more later!
That’s all we want. Oh, and know when to end it. Anything over 1000 words, and we just get tired.
Thanks, sayeth the kids.
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