SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

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Picture Books (PB) / Re: PB Virtual Critique Groups
« Last post by Meghan Wilson Duff on February 25, 2023, 04:35 AM »
My PB crit group (which is 2 years and 2 month old) started by just asking that question on the Blueboard and connecting with the other people who responded with similar interest. We were a group of relative newbies, but if you can get some structure and someone to organize communication and meetings, it can work. 

We started during the pandemic when most things where social distanced, so we're not regional. Timezones restrict the times that would work for us, but we figured out the best regular time for everyone.
Picture Books (PB) / Re: PB Virtual Critique Groups
« Last post by JulieM on February 24, 2023, 02:05 PM »
Check with your regional SCBWI - they often have a coordinator who puts people together (with same interests/genres).
Picture Books (PB) / Re: PB Virtual Critique Groups
« Last post by allison-vestal-laborde on February 24, 2023, 07:17 AM »
I'm also interested!!
Picture Books (PB) / PB Virtual Critique Groups
« Last post by lerone-landis on February 23, 2023, 06:10 PM »
Hello, does anyone know of any PB critique groups that meet up virtually and are accepting new members? Thanks!
Picture Books (PB) / Re: PB Anthropormorphic or Humans?
« Last post by Ree on February 18, 2023, 03:38 AM »
I agree with all of the above. I think each works for different stories. The one thing about animals is that you can put them in a more adventurous position than humans.

Picture Books (PB) / Re: PB Anthropormorphic or Humans?
« Last post by Debbie Vilardi on February 17, 2023, 07:28 PM »
Write the story the way it makes the most sense to you. Illustrate it the way it makes the most sense to you.

Animals are sometimes used to avoid controversy. Animal characters can get away with things human characters can't. This happens in books with political undertones. The message slides under the radar. Sometimes animals make something funnier or more adorable because of the visuals. Sometimes the animalness is in the nature of the character as stated above. Franklyn the Turtle is a very good example here. Look at the first book, Franklyn in the Dark.

Often you can write humans and illustrate animals. That's up to you.

And to clarify, I believe the infographics show that more animal main characters appear in picture books than main characters of color. That could be a consideration if you are a person of color or other marginalized group and want to represent that.

Have fun experimenting and deciding what works best for your book.
Picture Books (PB) / Re: PB Anthropormorphic or Humans?
« Last post by Vijaya on February 17, 2023, 05:47 PM »
I've written many stories with humans in mind but the illustrator hit it out of the park with animal characters! I loved it. Camels wearing socks (for a matching socks poem), bunnies making a quilt out of old clothes, vehicles going to various locations.

When I deliberately use an animal for a story, I retain the characteristics of the animal--so cats and catty and fish are fishy.
Try writing it both ways and see which style serves the story best. Good luck!
Picture Books (PB) / Re: PB Anthropormorphic or Humans?
« Last post by David Wright on February 17, 2023, 04:47 PM »
I would say it's up to the story and personal choice.

Mary Kole wrote a general piece on this a couple years ago:

Personally, I prefer it when the animals traits impact the story. e.g. if a shark saw a dentist, there are a LOT more teeth to examine.
But it's not like my kids and I didn't read a LOT of stories with anthropomorphic animals that the genesis of the MC had nothing to do with the story.
Picture Books (PB) / PB Anthropormorphic or Humans?
« Last post by christen-mccreavy1 on February 17, 2023, 02:14 PM »

Hello everybody,

Happy Friday! I hope you are all well!
I want to know how do you decide if your children’s book should have anthropomorphic or human characters in it? I remember when I was brainstorming my story I was inspired to create a story about a child overcoming their fear and my aunt who loves a certain animal and has a fear of a certain appointment was my inspiration. I know I see infographics on how animals are overtaking human children representation in children’s books so I’m just wondering when do I have animals and when do I not have animals? I can go into more detail about the type of animal my main character is and what the actual appointment is that she fears. I feel these discussion boards are a safe place for me to share my crucial story details and I can provide illustrations too. But let me know if there’s another forum for sharing manuscripts and illustrations too.

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