Penny's delectable new book, A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE, is the story of young William whose love of cooking makes him a bit of an oddball in the land of fairy tales. One day, when he finds a box containing apples, a pumpkin, and a few beans that is destined for Fairy-Tale Headquarters, William uses his culinary talents to whip up some delicious dishes. But, what will happen to the fairy tale characters who are missing key ingredients to their stories?
|Doesn't this look like a delicious book?|
Read on for your chance to WIN A COPY!
Penny's debut picture book, THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT, won the "Best in Rhyme" Award at the first ever Rhyme Revolution Conference.
|Penny with the founder of |
Rhyme Revolution, Angie Karcher
Penny: As writers, we often hear that we should read, and even write, poetry to help with our picture book writing skills. There's a valuable connection.
Even though writers often hear about the value of poetry, many dismiss the advice because they feel like they don't have the time or they don't see the value. They wonder:
Why spend time with poetry when I don't want to
write a poetry collection?
Why spend time with poetry when I'm not interested
in writing a rhyming picture book?
Why spend time with poetry when there are only
so many hours in the day and I have so much
to learn about writing what I want to write...
which is picture books, not poetry?
You might be thinking, "Whoa! Wait! Hold on! Aren't those the elements of a successful picture book? Isn't this redundant?"
I can promise you that it's not. The reading of poetry will give you an appreciation of language. It will heighten your awareness of techniques that will make your work a pleasure to read aloud. And if you will go a step further and write poems, you will strengthen your skills even more. If you're not a rhymer, don't worry. Writing free verse will benefit you, too. Slowly you will feel poetry influencing your choice of words and language in your picture book manuscripts.
It's pretty obvious how poetry helped me with THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT. It's a rhyming picture book, so immersing myself in rhyme and meter made sense. But my second book, A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE is in prose. Yet the reading and writing of poetry had a huge influence on its text. When I compare early drafts to the final text, the revisions I made enhanced the story due to better word choice and the use of poetic techniques. The language and read-aloud-ability are much stronger and helped bring my story to a polished point.
I encourage you to start making poetry a habit. Even spending 10-15 minutes several days a week reading poetry will have an influence on your writing. Where do you start? There are many resources on the Internet and I have collected many of my favorites on my website in the Poetry Resources page.
Thank you, Penny, for sharing your strategies with our readers!
And now, for the icing on Penny's post --
YOU CAN WIN
a copy of A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE! Just comment below to enter the drawing (U.S. residents only, please).
As one final treat, gather around and listen to Penny read THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT: