How To Make A Picture Book

How To Make A Picture Book
Elys Dolan
Walker Books

If you’ve ever considered the possibility of making your own picture book, then look no further. Elys Dolan, aided and abetted by her annelid assistant, Bert, shows you how in this humorous, step by step guide. First make sure you have all your favourite pens, pencils, crayons, brushes etc to hand.

Of course, inspiration is key and according to our trusty tutor it’s time to visit your gallery of muses – in other words, your very special things; these can be used to generate a ‘story idea’. Then there’s the creation of credible characters, the first being the main protagonist and you need to get to know them very well.There’s lots of advice from Doc Dolan on how to do so.

Setting is another consideration – where is your story going to unfold and hugely important is what is going to happen throughout the story and how the events will be structured.

The use of building blocks is suggested – not the things young children love to play with – but sequences of words.

Two other vital elements in the creation of a picture book are also discussed. The placement of words and pictures on each spread means the creator needs to decide what the pictures should look like and how they and the words will use the space on each page. This allows the pace of the telling to be changed at different times: for example zooming in on a particular moment in the story heightens the dramatic impact,

whereas framing a picture creates distance between the action and the reader of the book. Moreover in the best picture books, the illustrations show things not said in the text and the text should say things not shown in the illustrations: not always easy this.

Our pro has one last tip to make the book a winner and it concerns colour: that means the author/illustrator putting themselves into the shoes or maybe that should be head, of the reader and then choosing appropriate colour(s) to generate the feeling wanted.

With a sequence of activities, tips aplenty and jokes too, Elys’ guide is highly entertaining and very informative. (Bert has even sneaked in step-by-step instructions on how to make your own blank book.) It’s a brilliant tool to use in the primary classroom or at home.

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