Yesterday I reviewed Pamela Love’s beautiful children’s book Brigid and the Butter: A Legend about Saint Brigid of Ireland. (Read the review HERE) Today I’m pleased to hand the blogging reins over to Pamela so that she can give us valuable tips on writing religious-themed picture books. Take it away, Pamela!
PICTURE BOOKS AND RELIGION
Suggestions about writing picture books with a religious subject or theme:
1. Since the typical picture book has only 32 pages, and runs under (sometimes substantially under) a thousand words, consider focusing on just one person, ritual, or holiday. You may even decide to limit your topic further. For example, in my latest picture book, Brigid and the Butter: A Legend about Saint Brigid of Ireland, instead of describing her entire life, I relate a specific miracle she is said to have experienced as a child.
2. Be sure to provide the information needed to understand your book. Remember, not every reader or listener may be as familiar with the material as you, particularly since picture books are generally intended for children. This teaching may even include secular material. For Brigid and the Butter, I described the process of churning butter to children who’ve almost certainly never done it.
3. With #2 in mind, your publisher may ask you to provide additional information about the subject for your readers. Pauline Books and Media told me to include a separate, short biography about the life of Saint Brigid of Ireland. In any case, have a bibliography of any source material available in case the publisher requests it.
4. If your book relates something that happened long ago, consider connecting to the child by showing how something long ago affects us now. This may include a prayer (as in Brigid and the Butter) or a description of how children today celebrate a holiday or take part in a ritual.
To order your own copy of Brigid and the Butter: A Legend about Saint Brigid of Ireland, click this link:
About the Author:
Pamela Love grew up in New Jersey, and attended Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. She was a teacher and a marketer before turning to writing. Pamela is the author of numerous children’s picture books and has written many stories and poems for children’s magazines. She is also a contributor to Family Matters: Thirteen Short Stories, published by Pauline Books and Media. She lives with her husband and son in Maryland.