Today we are joined by Jeff Minich, author of Baby Chomper’s Bath Time and other books in the Nuggies illustrated children’s book series. We have partnered with him and The Children’s Book Review to bring you some tips about writing for children. If you’ve ever considered writing for this audience, be sure to check out his article. Also, enter for your chance to win an autographed copy of Baby Chomper’s Bath Time.
WRITING FOR CHILDREN
For my first children’s book, Daddy Forgot My Dinner, I was a complete novice and had no preconceptions about how to write for children. I simply wanted to get the story on paper in as succinct and, hopefully, cute a fashion as possible. Looking back now, after writing five more books for the Nuggies series, I think that initial approach of writing without preconception is the best place to start a children’s book project. Children live—for the most part—in a world without preconception… it’s one of their most endearing qualities. To write well for them, you have to come to the table with that same mindset.
Since writing that first book, I’ve read many more children’s works by other authors. I’ve attended writing workshops and read books and articles about writing for children. There is a lot of advice for authors out there. Ultimately, you have to decide what your own unique voice is going to be. One example is your choice of narrative style. I sometimes mix third person with interludes of second person because I like how second-person narrative draws kids into the story in a personal way. Some might criticize this approach, but I like how it works with books intended for lap reading. I want kids to feel like the book was written especially for them.
Another one of my signatures in the Nuggies series is wrapping up each story on the final page with a virtue or lesson-learned from the story. In book 4, Oui Oui, Gigi!, I didn’t do this in the first edition of the book. While artistically, I thought the wrap-up wasn’t needed because the message (not assuming other’s intentions) seemed inherent throughout the story—I immediately got feedback from readers that they felt the story lacked a solid ending. It made me realize that kids (and parents) really appreciate getting that takeaway at the end, so now it will always be a part of my books.
That’s the final point: the process of becoming a good writer is never done. If you look at the progression of a great children’s author like Dr. Seuss, you’ll see his style grew highly refined in his later works. Everything, including word choices, rhythm, rhyme, and story flow, all evolved into a nearly seamless style in his later work. But he didn’t start there, and most likely neither will you! If you have a great idea or message for kids, get your laptop out and start writing!
Enter to win an autographed copy of Baby Chomper’s Bath Time, by Jeff Minich—plus a Dyson Supersonic hairdryer!
One (1) grand prize winner receives:
· A Dyson Supersonic hairdryer
· A complete autographed set of the Nuggies series
o A copy of If I Could Climb Trees: Nuggies: Vol. 5, signed by Jeff Minich
o A copy of Oui Oui Gigi: Nuggies: Vol. 4, signed by Jeff Minich
o A copy of A Very Scary Pumpkin: Nuggies: Vol. 3, signed by Jeff Minich
o A copy of All the Other Nuggies: Nuggies: Vol. 2, signed by Jeff Minich
o A copy of Daddy Forgot My Dinner: Nuggies: Vol. 1, signed by Jeff Minich
o A copy of Baby Chomper’s Bath Time, signed by Jeff Minich
Two (2) winners receive:
· A copy of Baby Chomper’s Bath Time, signed by Jeff Minich
Giveaway begins September 26, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends October 26, 2017, at 11:59 P.M. MT.
Giveaway open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older.
Prizes provided by Jeff Minich
ABOUT THE BOOK
Written by Jeff Minich
Publisher’s Synopsis: Baby Chomper’s Bath Time is a lovable and waggable tale about a little puppy who loves to get dirty, but really dislikes getting freshened up. One day, baby Chomper escapes from home and gets muddy and stinky beyond belief. He rolls in the mud, takes a dive in the trash, and even gets sprayed by a very stinky skunk. When his owner finds him, Chomper returns home to find that it’s his least favorite time of all: BATH TIME! Floating among his toys and surrounded by bubbles, Chomper wishes he could just be dry, stinky, and free to play outside. But then, with nowhere else to go, Chomper realizes that bath time can be one of the most fun times of all! He imagines himself diving in the deep blue sea, being the captain of his own ship, and surfing to a faraway shore. Baby Chomper’s Bath Time is a playful story that encourages children to see the bright side of every situation.
Ages 2-5 | Publisher: Nuggies Inc | November 7, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0999298404
Available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2zsVyRi
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Minich is the author of the Nuggies illustrated children’s book series. Created in collaboration with illustrator Renan Garcia, the series includes Daddy Forgot My Dinner (Vol. 1); All the Other Nuggies (Vol. 2); A Very Scary Pumpkin (Vol. 3); Oui Oui, Gigi! (Vol. 4); and If I Could Climb Trees (Vol. 5). You can learn more about the Nuggies book series by visiting: GetNuggies.com