Writing Your Best Picture Book Ever


32 pages
ISBN 1-55138-028-5
DDC j808.06'8




Illustrations by Alan Daniel and Lea Daniel
Reviewed by Joan Buchanan

Joan Buchanan is a writing instructor and storyteller, and the author of
Taking Care of My Cold! and The Nana Rescue.


The funny blue blobbish character on the cover invites you in. What do
you discover? Lots of workable writing advice. The book specifically
addresses picture-book writing. It is aimed at 8- to 12-year-olds, but
people of all ages may find useful pointers here, and not just about
picture-book writing.

Stinson’s conversational tone and lucid explanations are encouraging.
She doesn’t use standard phrases, such as “write about what you
know.” Instead she says, “you don’t need to have experienced
everything you write about—that wouldn’t give your imagination much
room to play around. But a story based on something you know about has
the best chance of making readers truly care about what happens.” As
well, much to a teacher’s delight, she encourages a
right-brain-dominated first draft and stresses that revision is the
process of “transforming spilled milk into ice cream.” A helpful
checklist with “Pacing,” “Clarity,” and “Interesting Words and
Details” subheads is included. At the end, Stinson provides balanced
answers to popular questions asked of authors during readings and school
visits, such as how much money they make and how they go about getting

Alan and Lea Daniel’s bright, impish illustrations move the book
along delightfully well. Highly recommended.


Stinson, Kathy., “Writing Your Best Picture Book Ever,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 14, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/20393.