Friday, October 31, 2008

Nikki Grimes' Barack Obama

'Tis the season for political campaigning, so I decided to check out Nikki Grimes' new picture book, BARACK OBAMA: SON OF PROMISE, CHILD OF HOPE. It's received some wonderful reviews and she covers this man's complex personality and history well, condensing his essence into this picture book's 32 pages.
But one of the things that struck me is that she used a device that I've always been told to avoid in nonfiction--the fictional narrator. A fictional young boy asks his mother about Obama, and the mother tells Obama's story.
And of course, that violates another "rule" of writing children's literature--having the wise adult--in this case the mother who knows so much about Obama--take over and upstage the child.
But somehow it works, perhaps because it takes a man who is larger than life, everywhere you look right now--tv screens, newspapers, road signs, radio, and relates the man's life to this young boy's.

I'd be interested to know how other people felt about this book, and about the "rules" of writing children's literature.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nonfiction Adventure

I'm currently writing a nonfiction adventure story about a seafaring journey around the world back in the 1700's. There are wild storms, ship wrecks and cannibals along the way. I'm having lots of fun researching and writing it.

Do any of you have an adventure nonfiction book to recommend?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bear Snores On

Looking for a terrific book for your little one?
BEAR SNORES ON by Karma Wilson is a delightful story told with playful language.
It will put a smile on your preschooler's face and ease them off to sleep.
published by Margaret K. McElderry Books.