Monday, March 31, 2008

Arresting Imagery and Child Psychology

When I illustrate I try to think about what it was like being a four or five year old looking at pbs. Granted, the ones available to me at the time.

I remember being fascinated by the tigers turning into butter as they ran around a tree
I remember a little kitten hit by a car, and a little pool of blood on the road (he lived).
I remember a fairy drinking poison to save her friend Peter( she lived).

I remember drawing a picture of a bare bottomed kid pooping, and me being sent to my room (I lived).

What is my point?

My point is that I think many writers of pbs for preschool and early primary are out of touch with the age group they write for. Like rhyme about social studies, or football. Little kids don't like or understand or appreciate this. Their world is simple and immediate and confusing. And about them.

And these images that I cite reflect a basic psychological reaction.

Do you know why writing a pb that hits YOUNG kids is hard? Because it involves knowing child psychology; and knowing what the rules are. Don't write a rhyming book about sports.

Poop done well will sell.

A broken nose done in prose will sell.

And tigers turning to butter....Well, I can't wait to start my next project. But it won't be butter.

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