March 10, 2009

Bedtime Books

An article in Children's Writer ( discusses bedtime books and the qualities that will endure over time. Those of us who are parents can tell you the top 5 bedtime books for their children. And, years later, we remember all the words. A favorite bedtime book will, literally, be read hundreds of times. However, this is more than "just" reading a book. This is about a special ritual with your child, time together, bringing an end to the day. Special rituals deserve special books. From an editor's point of view, what will make your manuscript special enough to publish? A bedtime picture book must please several audiences: the editor, the child and the parent, who will purchase the book and commit to reading it every night. A unique twist is vitally important in today's market. It's not enough to write about a teddy bear. What does the teddy bear do that is different? Is the rhythm unique? Can you introduce a new voice? Can it serve a dual purpose? Bedtime books don't necessarily have to be nighttime books. The popular "I Love You As Much" book introduces the reader to various animal mothers and their babies. The familiar rhythm ends with the human mother kissing her child goodnight - leaving the child with comforting images. For tired parents, a great nighttime book is as precious as a good night's sleep.

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