Writing for Children (Part 9)

Picture books have a definite format, and you must know this format to write them. The concept of doing a picture book can be difficult to form a mental image in your head. Think of the entire book starting out as an enormous sheet of paper, cut up in multiples of 8. Board books are 16 pages, 14 pages of text. Picture books are 24 (20 pages of text) or 32 pages (26-28 pages of text). Over half of all picture books are 32-page format.

Text and pictures are laid out in spreads. A spread is two pages that spread across the book when it is open. Sometimes there is text on one side of the spread and a picture on the other. Sometimes there is text and pictures on both sides. And occasionally the text goes across the top of two pages. If page 1 is the copyright page and page 2 is the title page, then page 3 is where the text begins. Pages 4 and 5 would then make up the first full spread. Spreads have equal pieces of writing on them. If you have 26 pages of text, you will have 13 or 14 spreads.