Template layout for a children’s book

This crude sketch is quite popular. A reader commented recently how the layout template helped his poetry book project.[1] The web site Moving Writers[2] posted “A Collaborative Writing Study That Will Rock Your Students’ World: Children’s Literature”[3] and linked to my rough layout template.

The origin of the drawing began at a local meet-up of illustrators and artists. The topic of children’s books came up. Several of the artists felt intimidated by the idea of creating a children’s book. As well they should. But it is not a path of labyrinthian impossibility. The big question is how to do it. At the time, I was a creative director for an international publishing company and had designed children’s books — specifically, picture books.

To encourage these artists and writers, here is a general anatomy of a children’s book:

  • 22 illustrations (five spreads)
  • 18 pages of text (51 lines to be specific) and
  • 32 pages (including title pages, front matter and back matter)
  • intro story and character on page four
  • intro dilemma on page 14
  • how to solve problem (pages 15 to 23)
  • problem solved on page 24 and
  • resolution on page 28

Several artists that night asked to take a photo of this sketch of an anatomy of a children’s book with their smart phones. Since then, several readers have expressed similar interest. So, I share this sketch again.

Like all recipes, what you do with the ingredients (i.e. text, words and pages) is up to the artist and writer. And, like any good disclaimer, results do very.

[1] “Anatomy of a children’s book,” coffeehousejunkie.net, December 10, 2012, accessed June 20, 2016 https://coffeehousejunkie.net/2012/12/10/anatomy-of-a-childrens-book/
[2] Moving Writers, accessed June 20, 2016 https://movingwriters.org/.
[3] Allison Marchetti, “A Collaborative Writing Study That Will Rock Your Students’ World: Children’s Literature,” movingwriters.org, May 30, 2016, accessed June 20, 2016 https://movingwriters.org/2016/05/30/a-collaborative-writing-study-that-will-rock-your-students-world-childrens-literature/.

Which book best represents you this year?

Hemingway - bookIf a book could represent your year, this year, what would it be?

Every year, like Christmas, booklists appear like neatly wrapped gifts in heritage and new media outlets. They announce the top ten books published during the calendar year. You are familiar with the practice. A year ago I was employed at an international publishing house and had learned that the one of the best things to happen to a book title is to be on one of those lists.

Last year, during a particularly awful time, I was sitting at the Pack Library in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. It was a December afternoon and I was working on a book design project. And I was thinking about work and life and money and decisions that required answers — and I had just finished reading For Whom the Bell Tolls. Why haven’t I read this book sooner? I asked myself.

In a dismal mood, I wrote a blog post about the best books I should have read before 2013. Later, I thought of the books that stayed with me that year. Like friends. And wrote another blog post featuring the best books I read during during that year.

Today, I am sitting in another library hundreds and hundreds of miles from that place a year ago — both physically and metaphorically. Which books have befriended me this year? How about you? If you could sum up your year as a book, which book — or books — might it be?

Associate art director Chip Kidd talks about designing the cover and interior artwork for Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. See also this post. (via youmightfindyourself)

Book cover design

Book cover design

Kidlingers like the latest book cover design… because the title has flaming letters & a firefighter.