A “button” is something that happens at the end of a scene that provides closure, a final touch that seals the deal. It can also be called a “tag” and is a final beat that can be used to close out the scene. Buttons create a satisfying ending that takes the scene just that one more notch. It can add a twist, focus our attention on a particular character or goal or theme, or emphasize an emotion.
Dashka Slater’s text in Escargot (illustrated by Sydney Hanson) uses a number of techniques to break the fourth wall, such as posing questions to the reader and asking them to do physical actions, like turning the page or giving Escargot a kiss. All of these elements engage the reader and delight them!
“I started out writing for adults and so when I published my first children’s book, after 15 years of writing for adults, I couldn’t believe what a warm welcome I got. People were immediately supportive and eager to share information. The collegiality of kidlit authors is one of the things that I love the most about this field.”
Meera Sriram’s picture books are a master class in evocative writing. Her superpower is making her stories feel lush, by providing a sensory and emotional experience that culminates in a satisfying payoff.
Meera Sriram’s picture books take kids to a not so often visited “space”—people, place, experience—to evoke wonder and spark conversations. Sriram feels empowered and hopeful when she thinks about how her stories have the power to influence a child’s worldview.
Martha Brockenbrough’s chapter book Frank and the Masked Cat is objectively hilarious. By using situational humor, weird words, the juxtaposition of familiar words with unfamiliar uses, repetition, and multiple strategies at the same time Brockenbrough gives readers many layers of witty comedy.
interview by Erin Nuttall The thing I love most about Martha Brockenbrough’s writing is that she is unafraid. Yes, she’s imaginative, funny, thoughtful, and precise which all make her stories a joy to read, but to write bravely is a skill that few have and put Martha’s work on another plane. She slides easily between […]
Patterns can help shape a story, from the big-picture themes to the moment-by-moment actions. Giving kids the opportunity to “read” the patterns gives them practice in making meaning. And it gives them satisfaction in reading as well.
“I focused on just his family members because I realized that I wanted to weave together themes of food and family, in particular the father-and-son relationship. Food has always been a very important part of my family, both when I was growing up and now that I have my own family. My mom liked to cook and it was her way of showing her love for us. Similarly, I like to cook my husband’s or son’s favorite dishes and/or add in favorite ingredients here and there, just because I want to show them I “see” them and I love them.”
In One Tiny Bubble, Krossing uses specific craft techniques to connect readers to the story, from direct address to apt comparisons, enabling kid readers to understand LUCA in relation to themselves and their world.