This crude sketch is quite popular. A reader commented recently how the layout template helped his poetry book project. The web site Moving Writers posted “A Collaborative Writing Study That Will Rock Your Students’ World: Children’s Literature” and linked to my rough layout template.
The origin of the drawing began at a local meet-up of illustrators and artists. The topic of children’s books came up. Several of the artists felt intimidated by the idea of creating a children’s book. As well they should. But it is not a path of labyrinthian impossibility. The big question is how to do it. At the time, I was a creative director for an international publishing company and had designed children’s books — specifically, picture books.
To encourage these artists and writers, here is a general anatomy of a children’s book:
- 22 illustrations (five spreads)
- 18 pages of text (51 lines to be specific) and
- 32 pages (including title pages, front matter and back matter)
- intro story and character on page four
- intro dilemma on page 14
- how to solve problem (pages 15 to 23)
- problem solved on page 24 and
- resolution on page 28
Several artists that night asked to take a photo of this sketch of an anatomy of a children’s book with their smart phones. Since then, several readers have expressed similar interest. So, I share this sketch again.
Like all recipes, what you do with the ingredients (i.e. text, words and pages) is up to the artist and writer. And, like any good disclaimer, results do very.
 “Anatomy of a children’s book,” coffeehousejunkie.net, December 10, 2012, accessed June 20, 2016 https://coffeehousejunkie.net/2012/12/10/anatomy-of-a-childrens-book/
 Moving Writers, accessed June 20, 2016 https://movingwriters.org/.
 Allison Marchetti, “A Collaborative Writing Study That Will Rock Your Students’ World: Children’s Literature,” movingwriters.org, May 30, 2016, accessed June 20, 2016 https://movingwriters.org/2016/05/30/a-collaborative-writing-study-that-will-rock-your-students-world-childrens-literature/.
Two authors provided me with food for thought during the last week or so. “Courting the Gargoyle”1 by Sheryl Monks explores the dichotomy many writers experience.
“I’ve taken to describing myself as part cheerleader, part gargoyle. The cheerleader, . . . is a powerful avatar, . . . . hopeful, peace-broker . . . . She sees the world democratically; it’s flawed, . . . but it’s not without beauty. . . . the gargoyle is fragile. The gargoyle sets the bar too high, and as a result, the world and the people in it disappoint.”
While you digest that idea, Ann E. Michael confesses that she is too busy to write. Unlike many writers who become jaded and obsessed with lack of discipline and failure, she is hopeful.
“I have not been weeding, as I have not been writing. Other priorities are claiming the be-here-now of my life; but I’m happy to find that the garden, and my writing life, can be sustained through other things and returned to at better times.”2
I confess, I have not weeded the garden either. Yet, providentially, the tomatoes, beans and chard have grown in abundance. I am part gargoyle. The part that never sees the light of social media. I have not written consistently (or as consistently as I planned. . . the gargoyle again.) Midimike commented that there will be time “to write about all those days when you were too busy to write!”3 I am part cheerleader. The brief smile that flickers across the light of social media.
 “Courting the Gargoyle” by Sheryl Monks, August 10, 2015. http://changesevenmag.com/portfolio/courting-the-gargoyle/
 “Too busy to write (sigh)” by Ann E. Michael, August 13, 2015. https://annemichael.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/too-busy-to-write-sigh/
Haitian author Dimitry Elias Léger, in a recent interview, said “We need poets, music, literature to fill in the gaps between news reports,…”
With that in mind, the Racine & Kenosha Authors Book Fair is next weekend, Saturday, May 23, 2015 at Rhode Center for The Arts (514 56th St, Kenosha, WI 53140). The book fair begins at 2 p.m. and concludes at 5 p.m. So you have plenty of time to do your morning errands or yard work, join me and fellow authors and then spend the rest of the day enjoying Kenosha’s lovely lakefront area with an armful of books by local authors.
Copies of my books will be available for sale (and I will personally sign your copies) and I am scheduled to read at the event. Look forward to meeting you at the Racine & Kenosha Authors Book Fair nest weekend!
The Rhode Center for The Arts in Kenosha, WI hosts an author reading of local poets and writers (including myself) on May 23, 2015.
I will have copies of How Long Does it Take to Write a Haiku?, The Vanishing Art of Letter Writing, Late Night Writing and other books for sale.
For invitation to the event, please contact me for more details.
The Rhode Center for The Arts in Kenosha, WI hosts an author reading of local poets and writers (including myself) on May 23, 2015. For invitation to the event, please contact me for more details.
You are invited to the Village Ink Creative Writers Guild authors reading open house at
Graham Public Library
Union Grove, Wisconsin
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Five local writers (including myself) present selections of their work. The Village Ink Creative Writers Guild meets every Tuesday at the Graham Public Library and is open to writers of all genres and disciplines. The open house is a great way to celebrate National Poetry month and the event will highlight the last six months of creative energy and writing endeavors. Selected works include children’s literature, fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction.
For more details, please leave a comment. Thanks!
The open house is FREE to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
Village Ink Writer’s Group meets tonight, Tuesday, 6:30PM. I’m leading group tonight. Hope to see you there! http://ow.ly/IqlTW
Racine, WI poets represented at last year’s Poetry Marathon.
Photo Credit: Woodland Pattern Book Center
Just two more days until the 21st Annual Poetry Marathon Benefit Reading at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee. Here are five reasons to support the Annual Poetry Marathon:
- over 25,000 small press titles
- book titles include poetry, chapbooks, fine print materials, broadsides, and multicultural literature
- money raised supports Woodland Pattern’s 2015 programming in literature and the arts, including an after school program and youth summer camp
- enjoy 15 hours regional poets, writers, and lovers of the arts
- 150 poets and writers from Milwaukee and surrounding areas
Five poets representing Racine, Wisconsin at the Woodland Pattern’s poetry marathon need your support! Help each performer raise at least $35.
- Nick Demske – poet and author of critically acclaimed self-titled poetry book and featured in Poets & Writers. read more
- Justin Grimbol – author of Hard Bodies, Drinking Until Morning and others. read more
- Kelsey Harris – poet featured at the 2014 Racine and Kenosha Authors Book Fair.
- Aaron Lundquist – spoken word poet, featured at Grassroots Open Mic and Artist Showcase. read more
- Nick Ramsey – Poet Laureate of Racine, Wisconsin and co-founder of Family Power Music. read more
Ok, technically, there are more than five, but I saw most of these fine poets perform last night at the Grassroots Open Mic at George’s Tavern. Also, I will be reading during the marathon as part of the Racine delegation. Please consider supporting me with a pledge. It is as easy as one, two, three. Go to the Woodland Pattern Book Center, here, and:
- under “Pledge a Reader online!” select a donation amount,
- add “Reader’s Name” (that’s me, Matthew Mulder) and
- click the “Pay Now” button.
Thanks for your support!
As many listeners know (and readers of this blog), books are important here at the Coffee Den. First segment features three books and a question, where have all the fathers gone? Next, a tale of two city libraries. Sort of. And poets. And books. Finally, a glimmering coming-of-age story by author Justin Grimbol.
If you would like to read along as well as support the authors, here is a list of their books: Memory Won’t Save You: A Haibun by Mimi White; After the Steaming Stops poems by Alice Osborn; Somewhere More Holy by Tony Woodlief; The Kid Who Climbed the Tarzan Tree by D. W. Rozell and Drinking Until Morning by Justin Grimbol.
And finally (because it is mentioned in the podcast), if you would like to support the podcast please consider purchasing Late Night Writing.
Listen to the episode Books on the menu:
Rumor has it that I am one of the many authors at this event.
Here are details of the event from the Racine and Kenosha Authors Book Fair Facebook page:
September 20 from 6 to 9 pm, authors from all over Racine and Kenosha will converge at the Racine Arts Council. Six featured poets and authors will give readings (Kenosha Poet Laureate Jean Preston, Kelsey Marie Harris, Dan Nielsen, Nick Demske, Marcie Eanes, and Kelsey Hoff), and many more will be present to sign their books and meet with readers. This event is also the official release of Sad Girl Poems, a chapbook self-published by Kelsey Hoff. Light refreshments will be served.
The Racine and Kenosha area is a thriving arts community, with a surprising number of authors and literary publications in residence. This event will represent the diversity of that community, with up-and-coming writers side by side with well-established ones in multiple genres including poetry, fiction, young adult, and nonfiction. Representatives from Left of the Lake and Straylight Literary Arts Magazine will be present with copies of their publications available.