That's a wrap! Congratulations to all our winners. The Book Arts Bash now has its own domain name, and a brand new web site for a new Bash in 2010. Visit us here!

Please visit the Favorite Poem Project, and hear Americans read the poetry they love.

Submission Guidelines:

Picture books are storybooks where the text is embedded in illustrations on each page. In the "Original Story" category, the story is one you make up entirely from your own imagination: characters, setting, and plot. Acceptable illustrations are pencil, colored pencil, pen, crayon, marker, paint, collage, photographs or computer generated illustrations. If photographs or computer illustrations are used, they must be integrated into the pages of the book. That is, the illustrations and text must appear together on the page, as in a published work. Picture books must be at least five pages long. While there is no word count limitation and no maximum page length, keep in mind that picture books are generally under 32 pages and contain fewer than 1500 words. Text can be typed or printed clearly.

We accept collaborations between authors and illustrators, but you must enter the age category appropriate for the oldest contributor.

Teaching this Genre:

A picture book is the most natural way for a young writer to communicate a story, but it's also a fine art form for adults and older children. Picture books can be full stories with a plot and several characters (like H.A. Rey's Curious George), or they can have very few words (like Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar). They can have very realistic pictures or more impressionistic ones. Maybe the best way to inspire yourself to write a picture book is to read some. Browse the library shelves and remember your favorites from the past.

Children tend to need help with determining how much text to put on a page, how to group text with illustration, and how to leave space in an illustration for text to be embedded. They may also need direction figuring out how to pace the book, that is how fast to move through the story.

It may be useful to have the child decide how many pages his book will have (a good place to start is 10!) and then number a page from 1 to 10. Next he should decide what will happen on each page and what picture will appear on each page to illustrate that action. It's not too soon to discuss the parts of a plot: introduction, inciting incident, rising action, climax, and conclusion. Thinking of his story in these terms may help your child understand how to spread his story and pictures out over the desired number of pages.

Here are ten of our favorite picture book classics and some good web resources to inspire and aid you:

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
The Umbrella by Jan Brett
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Curious George by H.A. Rey
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey
Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
Angelina Ballerina by Katherine Hollabird
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsberg

Eileen Christelow has a delightful website where she shows children
and adults alike how she goes about illustrating her picture books.

Eric Carle gives a really good explanation on how he
goes about writing a picture book.

Jan Brett, in her inimitable style, has a series of videos where
she shows you how to draw nearly 2 dozen animals.

Audrey and Don Wood answer questions on how they go about
writing their great picture books.

Matt McElligott has good reviews on software you and your children
can use for making picture books that won't break the bank (i.e. free).
He recommends Google SketchUp amongst others and links to these videos.

Have a look at these links by Marilee. Here are all the animated, online
picture books you could ever want to read. They give great inspiration
for your children. The following authors also have good points to make
with regard to writing a picture book:

2008 Finalists:

Kindergarten-2nd Grade:

Catherine T., "Lizzy & the Snowman"
Catherine T., "Princess Ariana's Trip"
Phillip P., "Dorito Attack"
Matthew M., "Lego Person"

3rd-6th Grade
Zoe P., "Ann #1".
Maddie M., "The Pig Problem".f
Sara W., "My Joke Book"

7th-9th Grade:

Mason J., "Karate Korner"
Roma W., "Oz: The Story-Memoirs of a Child's Best Friend"
Alexei S., "Avon Mountain Traffic Jam"

10th-12th Grade
Cathy W.,  "What is this?"


Rebecca Y., "Dirt Fried Worms".
Sheila B-A. & Terry M., "An Angel In The Sky".
Sandra B., "The Guinea Pigs in the Garden Series".