Children’s Books Never Go Out of Style

From The Independent Publishing Magazine:

Fifteen years ago, I wrote a children’s book to teach the seven continents to my second-grade students who could not imagine a world outside of their own community. Amy’s Travels became the first children’s picture book to teach all seven continents. Based on the true story of my college suitemate Amy, the example of Latina children’s literature has been used in homes, schools, and events in over twenty-six countries on six continents. The book has even been turned into a musical by the Latin Ballet of Virginia. This November, Amy’s Travels will celebrate her quinceanera-just another milestone that shows how children’s books never go out of style.

Think about your favorite children’s book. Is it a new title or a classic? When this question is asked to adults today, common answers include titles by Dr. Seuss, the Berenstain Bears series, or another classic book like Charlotte’s Web or The Giving Tree. Children’s books are a sense of comfort that provide us with feelings of happiness and joy. I often call our favorite children’s books “comfort books” because like comfort food, we often have a positive memory associated with the title.

Children’s books are often written to teach a life lesson and are a powerful learning tool. When we can read books about characters that look or act like us and have life experiences similar to us, we are learning something. It could be problem solving, perspective, or possibility. As a literacy specialist, I encourage teachers to implement children’s books and stories to teach content, social issues, and character development. As a publisher, I publish engaging and educational children’s books that can easily support an educational curriculum and fill a need. Therefore, I have published books about teaching reading for parents and teachers as well as a children’s book about recycling and more recently a children’s travel series. While I originally chose to publish the children’s book series to promote travel and global awareness, it is now appropriate to provide children with the ability to travel through the pages of the book while the travel industry around the world has changed dramatically since the pandemic.  Thanks to these books, families can visit London, Paris, and New York City during the holiday season from the comfort of their home.

I believe the best children’s books are titles that meet the needs of many people and scenarios. For example, while Amy’s Travels clearly teaches geography, it also happens to be one of the few children’s books representing the LatinX community, since the main character and protagonist is a Peruvian girl.  Our book Turtle About a Home is used to teach recycling as well as conservation, litter prevention, and animal ecosystems. When a book can serve a dual purpose, its value significantly increases, and there is always a new audience to enjoy the story. About 140 million babies are born every single year; these babies become our newest and youngest readers as they enter kindergarten. This means we automatically have 140 children that haven’t heard about the children’s books we have written and published. Do you want to write a children’s book? Through creative storytelling and marketing, your children’s book will never go out of style. Here are five tips to ensure your book remains relevant.

1. Fill a need in the children’s book industry

Everyone has a story to tell. The key is to find a story that is missing in the children’s book industry. When I was teaching, I went to the library searching for a fictional story about the seven continents and could only find nonfiction books for each continent. I ended up checking out seven books instead of one. That prompted me to write Amy’s Travels. My children’s book became the first picture book to teach the seven continents. What is a topic you believe we need to talk more about? How many books currently exist on the subject matter? Filling a need or gap in any book industry is impactful. In the children’s book industry, a book that becomes a necessity may also become a classic as the titles outlive the authors who wrote them.

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3. Determine how your book best supports the educational sector

The educational market is a wonderful place for your children’s book to make a difference. Every classroom and every elementary school library across the country can benefit from a book. Teachers and librarians are always on the lookout for a new title to share with children. Does your book match an element of academic curriculum? Does your book teach character traits, character development or match social emotional learning? When you learn the current trends in education, you can produce a book that supports what is already in place. My company creates book guides and lesson plans for every book we publish or consult on. This makes your book stand out as a must-have resource for the classroom. I am always looking for academic focused titles to add to my professional development session entitled Teaching with Trade Books.

Link to the rest at The Independent Publishing Magazine

2 thoughts on “Children’s Books Never Go Out of Style”

  1. The author wants to particularize the story (about a Latina girl) on the ground it’s best to be able to see yourself in someone who looks like you, and also use it as a “see how other cultures are” so you can see yourself as someone else who doesn’t look like you.

    Hard to have it both ways, I think.

    Most of my childhood books happen to have had male protagonists. Not a matter of my choice, particularly, but of what was available (I was a completely omnivorous reader). I didn’t look like the characters, and sometimes their cultures were completely alien (even local cultures several generations ago are alien). Never bothered me any, or any other reader I know.

    I am SO TIRED of being lectured to/bragged to by the diversity/specialized-self-proclaimed-culture-owner self-congratulatory woke crowd. They don’t know much, and the little they know is typically wrong. But they have no shortage of hubris.

  2. I’m currently reading through:

    Children’s Fantasy Literature: An Introduction
    by Michael Levy and Farah Mendlesohn
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/110761029X/

    Fantasy has been an important and much-loved part of children’s literature for hundreds of years, yet relatively little has been written about it. Children’s Fantasy Literature traces the development of the tradition of the children’s fantastic – fictions specifically written for children and fictions appropriated by them – from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century, examining the work of Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum, C. S. Lewis, Roald Dahl, J. K. Rowling and others from across the English-speaking world. The volume considers changing views on both the nature of the child and on the appropriateness of fantasy for the child reader, the role of children’s fantasy literature in helping to develop the imagination, and its complex interactions with issues of class, politics and gender. The text analyses hundreds of works of fiction, placing each in its appropriate context within the tradition of fantasy literature.

    It’s more literary than I like but it is deeply scary to see how things have changed over the centuries. At least many of the older books they mention are available from Project Gutenberg.

    It made me find the Nathaniel Hawthorne stories on Gutenberg and in ebook. I hated the Scarlett Letter in high school, but his short stories are amazing. They feel like they were written tomorrow.

    Look at:

    Twice Told Tales
    http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/13707/pg13707.txt

    Read “DR. HEIDEGGER’S EXPERIMENT”

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