Think editing non-fiction is impossible? Check out picture book biographies for inspiration

Griffey bookFriend Barbara Kramer is one of the hardest-working non-fiction authors in children’s lit today.

When she’s not creating a new biography, Barbara is blogging. I wanted to applaud her latest post:

I’ve mentioned in the past how children’s non-fiction is a great place for a researcher to start. Well, picture book biographies remind (even adult) authors of two amazements:

  1. Think everything has been written about a topic or personality? Children’s picture books are famed for putting a new spin on an overlooked moment in history.
  2. Think your editing is overwhelming? Look at the minimal word counts on a non-fiction picture book.

In the 1990s, I co-wrote a series of biographies for PowerKids Press. I was told to follow the established format. Ten chapters. Each no more than 80 words. A beginning, middle and end in just 80 words? It’s possible!

Children’s books: not just for children.

 

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