SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Character-driven pb series?

Discussion started on

What are some of your favorite modern, character-driven pb series?

Skippyjon Jones, Fancy Nancy...
#1 - April 06, 2012, 06:29 AM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

Member.
Poster Plus
Olivia
Splat the Cat
#2 - April 06, 2012, 06:48 AM
Young Henry and the Dragon (2011, Shenanigan Books)

Thanks, Jeanne! I forgot about Splat. That also reminds me of "Mr. Pusskins".
#3 - April 06, 2012, 07:16 AM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

CaroleB

Guest
Mo Willem's Pigeon series.

My favorite quote is "I have dreams, you know!"
Pigeon is a HOOT! Of course, I swear these books are for adults, hah!

Carole  :chicken
#4 - April 06, 2012, 07:23 AM
« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 07:27 AM by CaroleB »

Helen Lester's Tacky the Penguin series (I heart Helen Lester!)
Jackie Urbanovic's Duck books
#5 - April 06, 2012, 10:23 AM

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region sandiego
Love Olivier Dunrea's Gossie & Friends series. Gossie, Peedie, Ollie, all so cute,... with such cute duck names.
#6 - April 06, 2012, 02:56 PM

Children's writer
Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region australiaeastnz
Russel the Sheep
#7 - April 06, 2012, 02:58 PM
I've Got Eyes! - Amicus Ink (August 2018)

www.juliemurphybooks.com

Thanks so much, guys! There are a few I haven't heard of, so I'll definitely go look those up.
#8 - April 06, 2012, 03:18 PM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region canadaeast
If you can find the books, as I believe they may be out of print, sadly (perhaps the Library) I recommend, "The Gaggle Sisters River Tour" and "The Gaggle Sisters Sing Again", by Author/Illustrator Chris Jackson.
I swear these are also written for the comic relief of long suffering parents, reading at bedtime, while they are dead tired themselves:)
FUNNY!!!

Chris Jackson also wrote a series of stories (around 2000, HarperCollins Canada) featuring "Edmund" the pig. My favourite of the books was "Edmund and Washable", where the sweet but not so bright Edmund finds a friend (toy), and determines it's name to be "Washable", based on the tag, firmly attached to it:)
#9 - April 07, 2012, 04:11 AM
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 02:41 AM by christripp »
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region newjersey
OMG, the "washable" book sounds hilarious! Thanks for the tip.
#10 - April 08, 2012, 02:02 PM
----------------------
Founder, PiBoIdMo
Funny Author Lady
http://taralazar.com

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region britishisles
Funny that most of these are animal characters, which we're told to steer clear of.

My favorites are Stella (Queen of the Snow etc), Dolores, Blue Kangaroo (Emma Chichester Clark) Froggy (as in Froggy gets dressed). Charlie and Lola!

Then there's also Angelina Ballerina, Pinkalicious, Freckleface Strawberry, Ladybug Girl...
#11 - April 08, 2012, 04:06 PM
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 04:14 PM by Franzilla »

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region canadaeast
Quote
OMG, the "washable" book sounds hilarious! Thanks for the tip.



You don't know how many times I longed to steal that idea, of the name tag, from Chris J!!
(but I haven't, of course, yet....:)
#12 - April 09, 2012, 02:17 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region canadaeast
Quote
Funny that most of these are animal characters, which we're told to steer clear of.

Yes, it's always a bit hilarious to hear this said, again and again, at conferences and interviews, by Agents and Editors. No anthropomorphic animals. I suppose it's like, "no rhyming pb's". Most of what they see must be not so wonderful. What I really hear when, NO AA, is stated is, "no AA, UNLESS it's the next "Olivia", "SkippyJon", "Scardy Squirrel", "Bear", "Winnie the Pooh", "Pigeon", "Mickey Mouse", etc, etc."
 
I love the "Stella" books too!:) Marie Louise Gay is a monstrous talent!
#13 - April 09, 2012, 02:34 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

Great suggestions, Chris and Franzilla! Thank you!

And now I'll get back to my rhyming, alliterating, and anthropomorphizing. :)
#14 - April 09, 2012, 04:13 AM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

Children's Book Editor
Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region nymetro
Funny that most of these are animal characters, which we're told to steer clear of.

Well, there's a reason for that. The warning isn't based on what succeeds in the market or not, but on what we see over and over and over and over in the slush, and always poorly written.

Beginners really SHOULD stay away from such stories, and from 1500+ word picture book stories (But Patricia Polacco! Kevin Henkes!) and from verse (But many counter-examples!) and so on.
#15 - April 09, 2012, 04:03 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region britishisles
Well, there's a reason for that. The warning isn't based on what succeeds in the market or not, but on what we see over and over and over and over in the slush, and always poorly written.

Beginners really SHOULD stay away from such stories, and from 1500+ word picture book stories (But Patricia Polacco! Kevin Henkes!) and from verse (But many counter-examples!) and so on.

I understand the reasoning behind it, but I also wonder when a person stops being a beginner. I haven't been published so does that mean I'm still a beginner? I've received recognition for my PBs (agents, SCBWI contest, NAESP/Charlesbridge contest) so I don't feel like a beginner anymore. But I still haven't written an anthropomorphic story because I feel as though the editor/agent wouldn't get past the query letter!

DianaM, sorry for hijack! (But then you're an unpublished kidlit author whose work has received some fabulous recognition so perhaps this of interest to you too?)
#16 - April 10, 2012, 08:57 AM

pretty pink princess poster
Member
Poster Plus
Um...I was a beginner who got her start with a 1500 word pb. Never say never.
#17 - April 10, 2012, 09:47 AM
PBU
http://wwwpamcalvert.blogspot.com/p/picture-book-university.html

Brianna Bright Ballerina Knight series

Princess Peepers
Multiplying Menace

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region westcentny
The Bear books are great -- A Visitor for Bear, etc. And my kids adore the original Angelina books. And the Elephant and Piggy books are really early readers, I suppose, but we love them!
#18 - April 10, 2012, 10:04 AM
FIVE SHORT SECONDS
SAYA AT SPEED
RULES OF THE GAME
TEST CASES
TWISTER RESISTERS
CRASH COURSE
Heinemann, Fall 2013

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region newengland
Ladybug Girl is popular around here, and Karma Wilson's Bear books.

To speak to the other point -- if you have a brilliant idea for a talking animal story, you should write it. I think what the agents/editors might be saying is, "No more 1500 word rhyming stories about anthropomorphic animals that are BAD." So make yours good, and non-beginnerish, and don't worry about the "rules."

Carrie
#19 - April 10, 2012, 10:43 AM
www.carriefinison.com
DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS - Putnam (coming in 2020)

Children's Book Editor
Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region nymetro
Those aren't rules. I never call them that. They get called "rules" by others, not by me. They are just very strong recommendations.

So yes, if you feel strongly about something, you should write it. Most beginners just write the first thing that comes to mind. Not the same thing at all!

When do you stop being a beginner? I don't know. When you stop making beginner mistakes? Describe yourself any way you like, so long as you describe yourself as a writer!
#20 - April 10, 2012, 03:35 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

Quote
I understand the reasoning behind it, but I also wonder when a person stops being a beginner. I haven't been published so does that mean I'm still a beginner? I've received recognition for my PBs (agents, SCBWI contest, NAESP/Charlesbridge contest) so I don't feel like a beginner anymore. But I still haven't written an anthropomorphic story because I feel as though the editor/agent wouldn't get past the query letter!

DianaM, sorry for hijack! (But then you're an unpublished kidlit author whose work has received some fabulous recognition so perhaps this of interest to you too?)

Franzilla, I don't think you're a "beginner" (or that I am) just because you don't have a published book yet. You could definitely write a story about anthropomorphic animals if it interested you.

I think Harold phrases it well on his site, and not in absolutes.

It's helpful to know what's littering the slush pile, but you can always follow your passion. I signed with an agent based solely on rhyming pb's.

Thanks for the additional suggestions, eecoburn and Carrie! I LOVE Karma's Bear books too.

(And I see Harold already posted.)
#21 - April 10, 2012, 03:53 PM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region newengland
Sorry, Howard. I didn't mean to imply that you were saying these are absolute rules. It *is* very helpful to know what is in those slush piles and consequently what we might want to steer clear of as unpublished writers. But as a writer, we hear these things so often that it's hard not to regard them as rules and feel hemmed in by them -- to the point of dismissing good ideas.

FWIW, I think part of being a non-beginner is being able to pick out the good ideas from all the so-so ones.
#22 - April 10, 2012, 07:58 PM
www.carriefinison.com
DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS - Putnam (coming in 2020)

Children's Book Editor
Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region nymetro
I think it's a sign that you are now a non-beginner that you are feeling tired of hearing those things over and over! Anyone who speaks at conferences will tell you that we are also tired of having to SAY them over and over. But that fact is that at every conference, there is a new crop of beginners, and they need to hear them. Unfortunately, if there are non-beginners in the room, they have to hear them too.

So, on behalf of all those repetitive conference speakers, I apologize to all non-beginners everywhere.
#23 - April 10, 2012, 08:22 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region easternny
The modern Amelia Bedelia books, and I think that Crafty Chloe is cute, and could quite possibly be a series in the making. I also think the Petunia books are adorable, but my favorite (already mentioned) has to be Splat the Cat. I love cats! :cat
#24 - April 11, 2012, 07:22 AM

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region canadaeast
Quote
When do you stop being a beginner? I don't know.

I do, I do, NEVER!
What I mean by that is (and it's not just the corny old, you never stop learning, cr... stuff) even after your first work is published, even after the second, third,... after awards, honours, you still must (other then a small handful of the rich and famous) scramble for that next book acceptance, that next Illustration project. You sort of start all over again, every day.

Technically, you may be a "beginner" until you are published, but so long as a Writer has done their industry research (and doesn't make the beginner mistakes anymore, such as asking an Illustrator if they would like to work on their story, so they can then submit it ILLUSTRATED to a Publisher:) I wouldn't call them beginners! We should make up a term to use for that, unpublished as yet but have learned a lot, phase.
#25 - April 17, 2012, 04:15 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region britishisles
I wouldn't call them beginners! We should make up a term to use for that, unpublished as yet but have learned a lot, phase.

Well, in skiing, you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced. So maybe Intermediate Author? Doesn't really have a nice ring to it, though. At Verla's, you're a newbie, a poster, a laminated poster. Laminated Writer? Hmm. Will think on this!
#26 - April 17, 2012, 06:55 AM

This made me think of the zen concept of having a "beginner's mind," which is to have an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions about something, even if you're at an advanced level.

In that sense, maybe being a beginner isn't all bad...
#27 - April 17, 2012, 10:24 AM

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region britishisles
This made me think of the zen concept of having a "beginner's mind," which is to have an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions about something, even if you're at an advanced level.

In that sense, maybe being a beginner isn't all bad...

When I had a complete lack of preconceptions, I did stuff like mention how much young relatives had enjoyed my story how one librarian had read it and complimented it. The story was, of course, rhyming and anthropomorphic! But you're right, a beginner's attitude is ideal - just maybe with a bit of advanced knowledge to go with it!
#28 - April 17, 2012, 11:34 AM

pretty pink princess poster
Member
Poster Plus
This made me think of the zen concept of having a "beginner's mind," which is to have an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions about something, even if you're at an advanced level.

In that sense, maybe being a beginner isn't all bad...

Agreed! This jaded sourpuss I've become is not fun. Oh for the days of hopeful yearning with rose-colored glasses!
#29 - April 17, 2012, 12:05 PM
PBU
http://wwwpamcalvert.blogspot.com/p/picture-book-university.html

Brianna Bright Ballerina Knight series

Princess Peepers
Multiplying Menace

a beginner's attitude is ideal - just maybe with a bit of advanced knowledge to go with it!

Franzilla--I think it means being open and eager, but not ignorant. So, agreed!

Pam--Agreed here, too. (Oh, I'm so agreeable today!) I recently read somewhere that few of us would become writers if we knew in advance how hard it would be. But then I'm encouraged by the old saw that a professional is an amateur who didn't give up. So, onward and upward, with an informed beginner's mind!   :stroller  :wheelchair:

 PS Sorry for the temporary thread hijack! Regularly-scheduled programming returns in a moment...
#30 - April 17, 2012, 12:47 PM
« Last Edit: April 17, 2012, 12:55 PM by LeslieG »

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.