The Little Walnut Tree Books
The Little Walnut Tree Books
Question and answers
I have always had a passion for storytelling and a love for children's literature. Seeing the impact that books can have on young minds inspired me to become a children's author.
Ideas for my picture books come from various sources. Sometimes it's a personal experience or an observation from everyday life, and other times it's sparked by imagining different scenarios or exploring a particular theme.
The process of creating a children's picture book involves several stages. It starts with brainstorming ideas and developing a compelling story. Then, I work on crafting the text, ensuring it is engaging and age-appropriate. Once the text is finalized, I collaborate with an illustrator to bring the story to life visually. It's a collaborative and iterative process that requires creativity, patience, and attention to detail. In Wally the Alley, I illustrated the book myself.
My picture books are typically suitable for children aged 5 to 10 years old. However, I believe that stories can be enjoyed by people of all ages, so they may resonate with older readers as well.
My advice to aspiring children's authors and illustrators is to read extensively in the genre, hone your craft, and never underestimate the power of perseverance. Writing and illustrating for children requires a unique skill set, so it's essential to keep learning and growing as an artist.
My books draw inspiration from a variety of sources. Sometimes I incorporate personal experiences or memories, while other times it's sparked by the world around me, nature, or even history. I enjoy weaving real-life elements into fictional stories and characters. For example in Wally the Alley, alligators are not normally found in Africa, however my next book tells the story of how he ended up there as an egg! This idea came from travelling the world, and observing animals travelling the world too.
For me my purpose is to include important themes and life lessons into my picture books. I believe that stories can help children navigate and understand various emotions, teach them empathy, promote diversity and inclusion, and encourage positive values such as kindness, resilience, and curiosity.
Collaboration between an author and an illustrator is a fascinating journey. It involves clear communication, mutual respect, and understanding of each other's creative vision. I provide a detailed description of the characters and settings, and then the illustrator brings them to life through their unique artistic style. For example in "Rosie and the Dancing Butterfly" I really enjoyed working with Beenid and we had a lot of fun bringing the book to life.
Writing for children can be challenging at times, especially when it comes to finding the right balance between simplicity and complexity. It's important to remember the target audience's age range, their language abilities, and their interests. Overcoming these challenges requires constant feedback, revisions, and a willingness to adapt.
It's challenging to pick favorites, but I do have characters and stories that hold a special place in my heart. They often reflect personal experiences or carry a particular message that resonates deeply with me. Wally the Alley was my first story from many years ago and will always have a special place in my heart!
Reading picture books with children can be a magical experience. I encourage parents to engage in discussions with their children while reading, ask open-ended questions, and explore the illustrations together. This not only enhances comprehension but also strengthens the bond between parent and child. Additionally, incorporating fun activities related to the story or characters can make the reading experience even more memorable.
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