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Genres & Age Categories => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: Chris Eboch on February 19, 2013, 11:45 AM

Title: trends in picture books
Post by: Chris Eboch on February 19, 2013, 11:45 AM
I thought I'd share a few thoughts that came out of the New York SCBWI booksellers panel. Because of the emphasis on Common Core Standards, we may see a resurgence of picture books for school age children. Specifically, booksellers are expecting more nonfiction, narrative nonfiction, fiction with a nonfiction link (based on a true story, for example, perhaps with an author's note or supplemental web material), and fiction with nonfiction back matter (bibliography, glossary etc.).

Also, we may start seeing more interest in folktales and fairy tales! I'm guessing that this will be mainly for traditional tales, especially from nonwhite cultures, with back matter on history/culture, to tie into the "informational" text focus. That last sentence is just my interpretation, though.

I doubt this means that we've seen the last of "character driven picture books with series potential" like Fancy Nancy or the Pigeon, which have been dominating picture book sales. But there may be room for more variety in the near future. If you are writing fiction, think about how you might tie into common core standards with an educational aspect. If you are an illustrator, note that the ability to draw a realistic images may be a benefit.
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: Audrey on February 19, 2013, 12:07 PM
Thanks for sharing this information.  I'm going to print it out for future reference.   :thankyou
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: tmrobeson on February 19, 2013, 02:49 PM
Oooh, thank you from me too! That is very useful to know as I'm doing some picture book challenges, and therefore lots of picture book writing, right now.  :love5:
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: LeslieG on February 19, 2013, 03:00 PM
Thanks, Chris. Useful stuff!
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: dkshumaker on February 19, 2013, 03:02 PM
Yeah! I'm working on a few biographies so this is good news.
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: anniebailey7 on February 20, 2013, 08:44 AM
Great info!  Do you know how I can find out more information about the specifics of the Common Core Standards?
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: LoriA on February 21, 2013, 06:39 PM
Here's the website our school district sent out:

http://www.corestandards.org/
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: Bobi Martin on February 21, 2013, 06:41 PM
Yay for those of us who write mostly nonfiction.
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: Ruth Donnelly on February 22, 2013, 08:39 AM
Thanks for sharing this, Chris!
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: Liz on February 22, 2013, 09:44 AM
Thanks for sharing =)
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: Z-cat on February 22, 2013, 11:17 AM
Ooh, thanks for sharing, too!
I've spent this whole morning flipping through my sketchbooks, trying to decide what to work on next - and now I have a plan!
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: stacebee on February 22, 2013, 09:29 PM
Ooh thanks for posting this Chris !
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: Tina Cho on February 23, 2013, 06:15 AM
Good to think about as we write new ms! Thanks!
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: anniebailey7 on February 25, 2013, 07:49 AM
Thanks Lori!
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: nikileydecker on March 08, 2013, 06:52 PM
Thanks for the info, it's always good to know which direction the market is headed...
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: cbahr on March 09, 2013, 09:05 PM
Thanks for the info Chris - I agree with nikileydecker!
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: Betsy on March 09, 2013, 09:23 PM
I've noticed these are math and English standards. Anything for social studies or science (for the primary grades)?
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: Bobi Martin on March 10, 2013, 08:49 PM
I can't speak for all districts, but I know that our second graders study a unit on Lewis and Clark because several of them came in asking for books on Sacajawea.
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: aodle on March 11, 2013, 06:56 AM
The Common Core standards are relatively new...only math and language arts have been released thus far.  New science standards are currently being revised.  Check it out here:  http://www.nextgenscience.org

Your state should have a website concerning original teaching and learning standards in all other areas.  For example:  http://www.isbe.net/ils/

I can tell you that every teacher's in-service we have had over the past two years has been about the new CCSS.  Non-fiction is huge, especially with state testing.
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: kwlarson on March 11, 2013, 07:35 AM
To see how Common Core ties in to picture books, see Melissa Stewart's Celebrate Science blog. She has a great series on the Common Core and how it ties in with different picture books.

http://celebratescience.blogspot.com/

Best,

Kirsten Larson
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: mrh on March 11, 2013, 08:49 AM
I think a resurgence of PBs for any reason is a wonderful thing and long overdue.  :yup
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: KatieC on March 11, 2013, 11:19 AM
Great info!
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: Pam on March 29, 2013, 08:20 AM
Thank you for sharing!!

Btw, my agent says eds are asking for creative science,so educational books are on the rise for sure. :)
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: davidbrown on April 04, 2013, 09:49 AM
Thanks!
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: AnnS on April 04, 2013, 11:12 AM
Man, I hope it means a resurgence of interest in folktales!!! (Just as I do a PB that's not a folktale...)
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: Bobi Martin on April 04, 2013, 10:23 PM
What I'm seeing pitched to me (as an elementary school librarian) are folktales that are take offs. Something like "Jill and the Giant Beanstalk" or "The Runaway Taco" etc.  Teachers have started coming to me asking for different versions of the same fairy tale so they can do compare and contrast lessons. What's the same in each story? What's different?
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: Wendy on April 05, 2013, 03:46 PM
I think this is on topic. Can anyone tell me the difference between narrative nonfiction and faction? I'm thinking maybe different folks just choose different verbiage.
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: Christy on April 06, 2013, 08:09 AM
This is a great thread!
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: tmrobeson on April 13, 2013, 06:35 PM
I think this is on topic. Can anyone tell me the difference between narrative nonfiction and faction? I'm thinking maybe different folks just choose different verbiage.
Great question, Wendy! I would like to know too.  :yup
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: Betsy on April 13, 2013, 09:03 PM
As I understand it, narrative nonfiction is nonfiction that tells a story. Memoirs, travel writing, and biography can all be forms of narrative nonfiction. Also narrative nonfiction uses the devices of fiction, such as polished language and cinematic technique. Narrative nonfiction may have a story arc (or not).

Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco is one example. Quest for the Tree Kangaroo by Sy Montgomery is another. My book, Abe Lincoln Loved Animals, is narrative nonfiction. It tells the story of Abe Lincoln's relationship with animals.

The Winter Solstice is strictly factual (non-narrative) nonfiction. It describes how different cultures have celebrated the solstice through the centuries and how the position of the sun relative to the angle of the Earth causes it--a topic not good for storytelling.

Both kinds of nonfiction have to be extremely accurate.
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: Dawn Bonnevie on May 04, 2013, 09:03 AM
An interesting thing to note about the nonfiction trend, from my school district anyway, is that it is emphasized increasingly the higher you go in grade level. We are expected to require students to read a certain percentage of fiction / nonfiction based on grade level. In addition, science and social studies instruction takes a serious backseat to reading and math at the k-2 level. There just isn't time for hands-on or experimental science or social studies if we are to fit in the required reading and math time. Therefore, most of the concepts are taught through reading units.  What that means for me as a teacher is that if I am to read a nonfiction book to my students, or assign them a text to read themselves, I might prefer one from the perspective of a child / scientist DOING science and social studies (as opposed to straight informational) so that the students experience in some way what they are missing by not doing it themselves. 
My administrator asked us at a recent meeting how we felt about no science or social studies (as a separate curriculum) in 3rd grade. 
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: Bobi Martin on May 04, 2013, 08:46 PM
It's frustrating to me to see some subjects being removed because there isn't enough time for them. How are we supposed to produce more scientists, engineers, and so forth if all we're teaching is reading and math?  Don't get me wrong--we need math and reading. But eliminating subjects means teachers who realize the importance of the missing subjects then have to work them in through their reading assignments. This makes more work for the teachers and isn't as good for the kids as actually studying science and getting to do some kinds of simple experiments themselves. Grrrr.
Title: Re: trends in picture books
Post by: Dawn Bonnevie on May 05, 2013, 09:56 AM
Bobi, it is extremely frustrating!  The premise is that children need to have rock-solid reading and math skills at a young age in order to do the demanding science as they get older.  I love science (was a bio major) but understand this line of thinking. Prek-3 is 'learn to read' and 4+ is 'read to learn'. Indeed, 4th grade begins the requirement to read textbooks. 
All the more important that nonfiction be engaging and not too dry or fact-heavy. IMO too much nonfiction is too busy and over the heads of young children. There are some great science series for young kids that are narrative, especially in the learn-to-read series, but I'd like to see more traditional, beautiful picture books that are the other way around...narrative with a science topic. 
I hope that CCSS brings back the total immersion in literature for the younger grades. I don't think the basal programs will go away (there's so much pressure for 'research based' instruction and the basal programs promise that) but hopefully, we'll be given time to actually do read-alouds outside of the basal again. Time that probably will only come from less science and social studies. 
Now, don't even get my started on time to do projects!