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Parents in the story

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Shelly Lynn

In my latest pb I have parents interacting with my mc. Is this a total no-no? Or is a little bit ok? They are not solving the problem or even helping in any way, but they do interact once or twice when she asks them a question.

 :fish Wishful thinking in Michigan! 
#1 - March 30, 2008, 04:05 PM


There are TONS of picture books and easy readers with parents in them.  This is not a problem.
#2 - March 30, 2008, 05:07 PM

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I ditto that. Not a problem at all.
#3 - March 30, 2008, 05:11 PM
Adventures of Jenna V. Series
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A lot of your favorite picture books have parents in them. The Froggy books, for example.  I can't even imagine how "Where the Wild Things Are" would work without the mother. She isn't seen, but she is most certainly present.
#4 - March 30, 2008, 05:24 PM


I agree that a lot of pbs have parents in them. That said, if they're not moving the plot of her search for a solution along, you might not need them.
#5 - March 30, 2008, 05:30 PM


I think you have the right idea that the parents should not be providing the solution to the mc's problem.  SproutQ has a point, too:  do you really need them if they are not moving the plot along?  Only you can tell.
#6 - March 30, 2008, 05:36 PM


It's hard to say without seeing the ms, but this doesn't sound like a problem at all.
#7 - March 30, 2008, 05:51 PM


All of my PBs have parents in them and they interact with our characters. I have four PBs. The first book of the four the parents are there and don't have lines (Bur Bur's Boating ABC's.) In the other three books, the parents interact with the characters.

The parents sometimes serve as teachers so the kids can be introduced to something new. Parents in picture books can be protectors (as mentioned above in "Where the Wild Things Are"), validators, encouragers. I definately think there is a place in PBs for parents. The characters are the ones who have the obstacle to overcome, not the parents.

That is my two cents.  :)
#8 - March 31, 2008, 05:34 PM
« Last Edit: March 31, 2008, 05:35 PM by Kakie »

Shelly Lynn

Thanks everyone! I think I knew this already, but I was starting to second guess myself.

#9 - April 01, 2008, 12:49 PM

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I have a question concerning parents in a PB. Has anyone used them in a scene where they correct the child for something they have done or didn't do? Or just shown in someway they were upset with the child like pointing their finger at them or hands on the hips? I usually write parents in my manuscripts, but I wanted to know if these would be acceptable without being too preachy or solving the problem? Does anyone have a story published with a scene like this or an agent has read and didn't mind?
#10 - August 22, 2013, 10:58 AM


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