Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Behind the Books: Writing STEM Picture Books, Part 2

Last week, I began talking about the surprising amount of time it can take to write a STEM concept picture book. Staying the course requires patience and passion. For me, passionate nonfiction starts with a question. It also needs to have a personal connection.

As I mentioned last week, Can an Aardvark Bark? was inspired by a question my nephew, Colin, asked me during a family trip to Disney World. In this case, my personal connection to him motivated me to find a concept worth exploring in my mountain of research. Without Colin’s interest, I doubt I would have spent four years searching for just the right way to present the information.

My personal connection to No Monkeys, No Chocolate traces back to the glorious woodland walks my father, brother, and I took when I was young. That’s when I first discovered how living things are related to one another and their environment. During those walks, our father’s enthusiasm for nature rubbed off on us, so in many ways No Monkeys, No Chocolate is a tribute to him.

As I look back at all the picture books I’ve written, there’s an important person from my past or present connected to each one.

Next week, I’ll discuss my third characteristic of passionate nonfiction. Stay tuned.

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