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Genres & Age Categories => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: charles-richardson1 on April 08, 2019, 03:14 PM

Title: Do All Picture Books Have to Have A Deep Meaning or Character Arc
Post by: charles-richardson1 on April 08, 2019, 03:14 PM
I read publishers want books that teach a lesson and or the character changes.  Is that an accurate statement?  I just read a cute book called Kitten and the Night Watchman but I didn't get any deep meaning out of this well written book.  Additionally, the character really doesn't change.

Any perspective would be appreciated.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Do All Picture Books Have to Have A Deep Meaning or Character Arc
Post by: dkshumaker on April 08, 2019, 04:38 PM
Unless it's a concept book (a counting book or the alphabet, etc.) most pbs have a narrative arc where the MC faces a problem, tries  several times to solve it (tension), culminating in a climax, before it ends. And yes, usually the MC undergoes some sort of change.

Are there books that don't do this? Sure, there are always exceptions to the rule. But even the "quieter" books typically have some sort of narrative arc, though it might be small.
Title: Re: Do All Picture Books Have to Have A Deep Meaning or Character Arc
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on April 08, 2019, 06:24 PM
Unless it's a concept book (a counting book or the alphabet, etc.) most pbs have a narrative arc where the MC faces a problem, tries  several times to solve it (tension), culminating in a climax, before it ends. And yes, usually the MC undergoes some sort of change.

This. But sometimes it's subtle. The challenge or problem doesn't have to be big like a pasta pot that won't stop producing pasta (Strega Nona). It can be small like adjusting to a new routine. Those things are big to young children. The other thing to note is that no one wants a preachy book. Lessons should be subtle so the reader absorbs them without even knowing. And there are times when the main character doesn't change. Rosie's Walk is an example. The action all happens to the antagonist.