With the pandemic, children’s lives were affected in many different ways. Whether it was doing school on-line or missing school field trips or being exposed to Covid, many spent a large proportion of their time on-line. Children’s books are meant to challenge their imaginations, provide stories they can relate to and improve their literacy. How do books do this?
Illustrations Are Important
As a children’s book author, I know how important it is to have illustrations with the story. The story comes alive when children can see the characters which ignites their curiosity. Movies and videos for kids don’t always allow them to use their imaginations. Imagination is a powerful tool and helps the child create or use their mind to imagine what could be or what the characters could do.
In my Fairy Hollow Chronicles series, my illustrator, Barbara Warwick, used vivid colors and attention to detail to bring the characters to life. What children see on the above book cover are three pirates. However, look at the details which bring them to life. The Captain has a sword and a skull and crossbones on his cap. The second pirate is tall with a black eye patch cover over his eye and is barefoot! The cat looks interesting with the tiny pirates hat on the cat’s head! The third pirate is wearing the large gold buckle on his belt, high top boots and a black eye patch cover on his right eye. Now the reader has a visual description of what the characters look like which helps to understand the story!
Writer’s Tool Kit
Writers of children’s books really need to appeal to children and can do so by challenging their imagination and use of descriptive words. Books can have simple wording or use more complex phrases again to challenge the child’s mind. One tool for the children’s book author is the use of colorful illustrations. Children are fascinated by different color images. In the story above, the child is not just walking down a path but is wearing bright-colored shoes, pink overalls, with flowers, her pet dog and cat, her doll and last of all her baby brother all in the same scene. There is a lot going on in this scene. The reader can discuss with the child when reading the book together which is what the author had in mind.
Stories That Children Can Relate To
Children like stories with happy endings. With Rupert, children can look at the world of adventure and fun through different animals who are dressed in brightly colored clothing. These animals would not be like this in real life. However, the characters are helpful to children to think about the world they live in and their friends and family in a different light. They will want to join Rupert and his friends on adventures too!
The Best Part
By making children’s books colorful, interesting, challenging and fun to read, children are off to a great start in the world of books. They will enjoy reading as they get older and venture into longer books with no illustrations. Most importantly, children’s books help children begin their journey into language which will benefit them for the rest of their lives.