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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
“Writing books for children is a marathon, not a sprint.” So claims children’s author, Simon Rose. With quite a few children’s books published and in circulation, the author knows the amount of time and effort that goes into writing a book. And the work never slows down. It’s more than just writing. As he points out in his book, The Children’s Writer’s Guide, there is a great deal of discipline and dedication that goes into pursuing an idea from its roots to the final product of a published book. And the work doesn’t stop there, as all writers today will agree. There’s the promotional package, the book signings, the in-school visits and presentations, and much more. Writing a book, any book, is a job that never really comes to an end.
Simon’s guide is a valuable resource for both beginner and established children’s book writers. In the first chapter, he provides some basic groundwork for all writers, with subsections with headings like: “In the Beginning” and “No Happily Ever After.” He continually stresses that writing is more than just generating a great idea. It’s hard work and lots of it. So writers need to be organized and committed to what they propose to write. He leads you through the initial concept of finding the great idea to inspire the book, how to hook the reader, and some less traditional writing guide topics like choosing the right names for your characters and dealing with rejection. Using examples from his own experience and his own published works, Simon provides a clear and concise guide to writing a good children’s book. Very useful.