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help with a PB idea

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I want to write a series about an talking animal that helps children. Each book focuses on the animal helping a child with a particular problem. But the animal makes three funny attempts to help the child and fails. I was thinking the child should solve their own problem from the unfortunate events but wouldn't have had the courage otherwise because through the incidents with the animal. But I would like to know two things. First, do you think each book, the animal or the child should be the one to solve the problem in the end? Second, is this type of story too preachy or didactic? I'm writing in 3rd person but the point of view is coming from the animal.
#1 - August 16, 2013, 02:11 PM

If you haven't already, you might want to take a look at the novel THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, by Garth Stein. It is told from a dog's point of view, but the reader still deeply connects with his human, too. I know it's not a picture book, but it may give you insight into balancing the two main characters (the dog and his human) while maintaining the dog's point of view.

Best wishes!
#2 - August 16, 2013, 03:02 PM
Ten Clever Ninjas (picture book, Clear Fork Publishing, 2019)
Butterfly Girl (middle grade novel, Clear Fork Publishing, 2019)

Twitter: @kidlitSarah

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Hi Crystal205,

I think the child should solve his/her own problem. And, depending on how it's handled, this kind of book might come off as too didactic, as you suggest. But why not mock it up and see how it plays out? You can always revise! As to the series idea, you might just work on one title for now and see if you get publisher interest in more.

Good luck!

#3 - August 16, 2013, 03:30 PM
Twitter @jodywrites4kids

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Hi Crystal -
If the animal represents a friend or another child, it might make sense if the two characters solve the problem together. But before you jump into a series, I'd experiment with one stand-alone story. See if you can give it a truly unique voice that won't sound preachy or message-y. See if you can keep the language spare yet playful. Share it with some trusted readers. If you can perfect and sell that first book, you'll have a better idea if it makes sense to tackle a series.
#4 - August 17, 2013, 01:48 PM
Jean Reidy
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Thanks everyone for your responses!
#5 - August 17, 2013, 03:08 PM

The main character should solve his/ her own problem. Plus you cannot have the POV switch to the animal, if your main character is human. The story has to be seen through the eyes of the ms. Only what he/ she feels, thinks, smells etc. can be mentioned. This is in the case of a picture book.
#6 - September 21, 2013, 01:26 PM
Ten Sheep to Sleep; Simon's Skin

Facebook: /nidhi.kamra.75

It's difficult to say without seeing it, but it sounds like the animal is the main character here. If so, that's  who you want the reader to connect with and that's who 'should' ultimately solve the problem. I concur with the others who said write and sell the first book before investing time and energy into a whole series. Good luck!
#7 - September 22, 2013, 10:49 AM
Even Superheroes Make Mistakes (Sterling, 2018)
Even Superheroes Have Bad Days (Sterling, 2016)
Mine! Mine! Mine! (Sterling, 2006)


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