Thursday, February 4, 2016

Gearing up for Reading for Research Month

#askkidlit Tweet with Editor Alison Weiss
I'm gearing up for Reading for Research Month (ReFoReMo) created by Carrie Charley Brown. Why? Because of a question that I posed to Editor Alison Weiss at Sky Pony Press.
Me: "I think it's easier for an author/illustrator to break PB rules, than author only. What do you think?"
Editor Alison: "I don't know about that. I think everyone needs to prove they know the rules before they can break them."

Calvin loves picture books with animals
Why do I participate in ReFoReMo?  
Only by reading hundreds of picture books each year will the structure and rhythm be second nature to me. Then I can break the rules with the knowledge that I broke them for a reason. Breaking rules because I don't know or don't understand them does not make me a creative writer.

I read through my stacks of PBs for:
Main Character - Who is leading this story?
Want - What does the MC want? 
Stakes - What if the MC doesn't get the want?
Obstacle - What’s standing in the way ?
Tries - How does the MC try?
Ta Da! - How does the MC succeed
Ending - Satisfying and/or twist?

Because one stack is never enough
Great first line - Tone meets the unexpected
Last line - Does this line echo beginning?

Does the character have an emotional arc? 
Does the character change?

Does the MC connect with someone or something within the story?
Does the MC connect with me the reader?

And The Most Important Question
Will this picture book be a great mentor text for me?

Join me this March for ReFoReMo. 
Registration for #ReFoReMo 2016 is coming February 15! 
#picturebook #writers #giveaway @carriebrowntx @kirsticall


  1. Excellent post, Manju! Thanks so much for the ReFoReMo shout out! We'll work super hard and have fun learning together!

    1. Carrie, Thanks for creating ReFoReMo! I'm glad to take part.

  2. I love this post, Manju! ReFoReMo is going to be wonderful this year!!!

    1. Kristi, Thanks for giving so much of your time to the writing community.

  3. Thank you, Manju, for sharing what you look for in the PB's you read. I'm looking forward to ReFoReMO :)

    1. Charlotte, I appreciate you stopping by. Keep reading and writing!

  4. great post - and a good reminder of why we need to read more!

    1. Thanks, Sue! I will hop over to your blog for more science related PBs.

  5. Terrific list of questions we should ask ourselves when reading PBs! I'm not sure I can do the challenge but having your questions as guide when I read is almost as good. :)

    1. Thanks, Teresa! I love peeking in on all the challenges you do.


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