As part of our continuing series of 2010 Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Conference (www.foryoungreaders.com) faculty interviews with interviewer Carol Lynch Williams.
Bonny Becker: I’d be Mouse. I love how cheerful and carefree he is. Life is always a joy for Mouse!
CLW: What will students learn in your picture book class at Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers?
BB: Each student will develop a picture book from idea to a mock copy of their book. Every step of the way we’ll look at the decisions and choices that are unique to making a successful picture book.
CLW: What was it like to find out you’d won the E.B. White Read Aloud Award?
BB: It was lovely! I admire E.B. White enormously and I couldn’t believe my name was linked with his in any way!
CLW: What are three terrific hints for picture book writers?
- Your idea must be simple, but profound. There has to be something deeper in there for kids to want to read it again and again.
- Be very specific about the age range you’re writing for.
- Think in terms of the Rule of Threes. (If you don’t know what that is, we’ll talk about it!)
BB: The easiest thing is ideas. Like many writers I have more ideas than I have time! The hardest thing is getting down the first draft of a story, but I love revising.
Bonny Becker, author of a number of award-winning picture books and middle-grade novels, including A Visitor For Bear and The Magical Ms. Plum, says that the persistent mouse featured in A Visitor For Bear just popped into her head one day and wouldn’t go away. Several other Bear and Mouse stories are in the works. Bonny Becker lives in Seattle.
Bonny Becker will lead the breakout session “Classic Story Structure” on Monday, June 14, 3 p.m. and “Be Wise, Revise” Tuesday, June 15, 4 p.m.