If you read my weekend recommendation this past weekend, you would have discovered how painful behind the times I am on my picture book knowledge. I just discovered the joy that is "Knuffle Bunny" last week! I quickly realized how my limited picture book knowledge was when I decided to try to write picture books. I had extensive knowledge of my boys' bookshelves, but that was it. Unless the boys got a picture book as a gift or it was on the Scholastic order form that came home from school, chances are I hadn't read it.
So I decided to do something about it.
I got to readin'! I started compiling lists of the books I heard mentioned a lot. I jotted down notes when someone referenced a book. I starting turning our 15 minute library dashes into hour long visits. I started checking out 15-20 books instead of 3-5 books. I started hanging out at a bookstore and browsing. I focus on recent releases, but I try to seek out the classics as well.
And I must say that inspiration flows from the work that is already out there. Isn't that what inspired most of us to start trying to write a picture book in the first place? Rediscover that inspiration. Pick up a picture book...or 40.
Blog Note: I should be getting the last piece of the prize pack for my contest sometime today...so check back later to enter!