I've dabbled with the thought of writing a childrens book. It allows my mind to go all out weird, and I believe they are ususally short enough for me to see the project through.

But, as usual, I like reading about stuff more than actually do the stuff. Does anyone have suggestions of books they like? The 'For Dummies' seems highly regarded by many. Has anyone read it?

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    Narrowing what you're looking for might help get you better answers. Alternatively, if you don't know what you're looking for in terms of skills imparted by a book like this, maybe this question needs to focus more on outlining what your writing skills are now and asking what new skills you need to develop. Asking for a list of books, on the other hand, is an obvious list question and runs the risk of being closed. Feb 20, 2013 at 16:55

2 Answers 2


I can't give you the advice you want, but I will give your advice you need:

The books you need to read are models, not how-to guides. Count me among those who, unlike the many you mention, do not highly regard any book that markets itself 'for dummies'. More specifically, the industry of teaching people how to write creative works is a parasitic and intrinsically dishonest one.

Which books you choose as models (not for content but for technique) is important, but you must rely on the quality of your own taste.

On a side note, I would be careful of assuming that short works make for easy writing. Writing a children's book is not easy: unlike most other forms of writing, you cannot write for a reader just like yourself. Remarkable sympathetic projection is required to know what will appeal to a young reader.


If you are interested in writing picture books, I suggest Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul. Also, How to Write a Children's Picture Book Volumes I-III by Eve Heidi Bine-Stock is excellent.

I suggest The Complete's Idiots Guide, Publishing Children's Books by Harold Underdown. This time the got the perfect author for the series. Harold Underdown really knows the children's book publishing business.

I am a member of the SCBWI, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. I would suggest anyone interested in writing for children join. It's well worth the annual fee if you have a chapter near you. It's an international organization.

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