How I Created Twee's Books So Adults Would Enjoy Reading Them Out Loud.
by Susie E. Caron (c) 11/3/14
Writing picture book stories that fascinate children was actually the easy part. Throughout the past 42 years, I developed an understanding of childhood, and respect for children. I have worked with children, read with children, played with children, taught children and I continue to provide psychotherapy to children and consultation to their parents, caregivers and teachers.That's why I love to illustrate snapshots of childhood in Twee's stories. That's also why kids easily empathize with Twee'. However, I really wanted to make my books appeal to adults and increase the probability that adults would want to read them out loud, over and over.
To prepare my picture books for adults to enjoy reading out loud, I focused on making Twee's stories represent the situations and feelings that all humans experience.The universality of the experiences and feelings, in all three Twee' books, also resonates with adults. Whenever my stories are read out loud to children, adults also seem to identify with Twee', as they recall something from their own lives.
I also insisted on making the books physically large, so they were easy for adults to hold and easy to place on standard book shelves. At 8x10 inches adults can easily hold them, while sitting with their arms around two children, one on each side, or even while laying down.
Because Twee's stories were longer and a bit complex, I was able to use vocabulary and sentence structure that rose above young children's reading levels.* My purpose was to encourage adults to read them out loud to their children, from their earliest years. You might think, that the larger number of words would detract from their appeal. Actually, parents know that it's good to read 'more advanced' books to children for many reasons. (I'll write about the benefits tomorrow.) When parents begin to read Twee's stories to their very children, it is possible they may continue to read them for a long time.
*(This was the source of criticism by some book store owners who said my picture books were 'too hard' for children to read. They added that 'older children' wouldn't read them because they wanted chapter books by 2nd grade.This hasn't proven to be true.)
You may still be wondering how I made sure they were fun to read out loud.To make them fun, I wanted the words to flow easily. So, before I sent a Twee' book manuscript to the editor, I read it aloud over and over. Then I had my husband and daughter read them out loud. If they were not easy to read, I changed the words or sentence structure, so they easily poured from our lips. I worked hard to make certain that adults could really enjoy reading and re-reading Twee' stories.
I am happy that all the feedback I've received thus far, tells me that they do enjoy reading Twee's stories, even over, and over, again.
Thank you for reading this article. Tomorrow I will write about some of the benefits of reading out loud to your children for as many years as they will let you.
Please take a moment to comment below and share this article on your favorite social site.
Also feel free to join us as we party on Nov. 8, from 8am - 8 pm when I launch Twee' for Two (book #3). There will be prizes and surprises! You can find us HERE.
As always, remember
Twee' Means You and Me
Susie E. Caron
Susie E. Caron
These are from my former life with many current memories and helps for parents.
I retired from teaching, became a psychotherapist treating children and families and an author. After retiring I became a full time artist.
I recently reopened this parenting blog because I believe wisdom is to be shared.
Author of Chidren's Books,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, I want to help you build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, & books at a time.
When I'm not busy creating articles or paintings, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or playing with my Boxer, Josie.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!