Monday, June 2, 2014

Nuts and Bolts for Mentor Text Monday by Kathy Halsey

We know to read mentor text picture books that match our manuscripts, but writers also need to keep up with craft books, their own professional development. I was lucky enough to stumble into a great book and Facebook group, Word by Word Book Club, run by children's writer Meg Miller.  We are studying/discussing Linda Ashman's THE NUTS AND BOLTS GUIDE TO WRITING PICTURE BOOKS.  You can purchase this book as a PDF, Kindle edition from Amazon or an ePub. It's inexpensive and I find the ePub is a perfect platform for this type of reading. I can highlight, take notes, click live links, it's fabbity-fab! (Gotta confess this is the first e-book I downloaded on my new MacBook Air and I'm loving it.)


I joined the FB group late but it  was simple to jump right in on Chapter 6, "Writing the Rollicking Read-Aloud." As a busy writer, it's easy just to dip your toe into any chapter you need. Each chapter has examples, advice from editors and published writers, up-to-date reading list of picture books (mentor texts galore!) and a section entitled "Sharpening Your Tools."
Linda's style of writing is fun, breezy and not pedantic. Here's a short example from chapter 6: ""And, yet, if things go well, one day you will face down that squirmy group of preschoolers. Talk about intimidating. That’s when you find yourself wishing you’d cut out those long, descriptive passages—as lovely and poetic as they may be—and written something a bit shorter and zippier." 

Open up that laptop now and get started on a fun, professional mentor text for all picture book writers, regardless of genre! Linda's got it all: humor, subbing, character-driven books, rhyme, voice and point of view! Also, join the Word by Word Book Club on Facebook for great discussions!







20 comments:

  1. I've read this book and interviewed her as well. Great resource for pb writers!

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    1. Tina, can you share th slink to your interview with her? I'd love to read it.

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    2. Kathy, here's the link:
      http://www.tinamcho.com/blog/interview-with-linda-ashman-a-give-away

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  2. I am in the word by word group also! Love nuts and bolts! Thanks Kathy!

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    1. It's a great group and I love the encouragement to read with others.

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  3. I'm just finishing "Writing Picture Books" by Ann Whitford Paul, and this is next (or close to it!!) on my list. And I just asked to to join Word by Word :). BOTH look really good :)

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    1. Joanne, glad that you're joint us!

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  4. Thanks Kathy. I belong to Word by Word too! Great group!

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    1. Janie, we are everywhere together!

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  5. Me, too! Great group! Great post! :)

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    1. I appreciate you reading this, Elaine!

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  6. I bought Nuts and Bolts recently and it is on my list to read this month. I appreciate knowing about the FB group. Thanks.

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  7. Rosi, we are deciding either to read another book or take the summer off. Join, it's a great group.

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  8. I just ordered the sample sent to my Kindle. Great recommendation. Thanks!

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  9. Thanks, Kathy. This is one for me to add to my list!

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  10. Thank you Kathy. This has got to be added to my must read list. I hope Word by Word continues in the summer.

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  11. What a nice post, Kathy! Thanks so much. I'm so happy you've found The Nuts & Bolts Guide helpful. I'm happy to know about GROG, too -- looks like a great resource!

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    1. Oh, I'm all a twitter that you read this, Linda! TY.

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  12. Thanks for the shout out Kathy! It's been an amazing journey studying Linda Ashman's Nuts & Bolts Guide as well as Ann Whitford Paul's Writing Picture Books. Glad you've joined us. :D

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  13. The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books is an excellent resource. I am reading it on my Kindle.

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