A couple years ago I saw a video where Flight of the Conchords was writing a song for a children’s charity. How they got their lyrics was by interviewing kids and asking them questions about how we should help the sick kids of the world. I really liked this concept of involving kids in the discussion about helping kids.
For this last project, I am planning on creating a children’s book with children as the authors. For this book, I want the storyline to come from only children’s imaginations. Working at a day care for the past two summers have made me realize how short a child’s attention span can be, especially when reading a book. If they are not interested in the story, they will not listen. I figured if the story is written by children, they may be able to relate more closely with the storyline and maybe pay attention throughout the entire story.
Since the idea came to me while I was working with the kids of the day care where I’m employed, I am working with twenty to twenty-five kids from the day care. They range from ages two to five so the range of content in the story will be fairly vast. I have created a character and created a list of twenty-four questions about this character. The questions discuss the character’s favorite things, season, where his parents work, etc. The answers that the children give me will become the structure for the storyline. I have interviewed each child or pair of children separately so their imaginations and ideas were not influenced by other kids. Though I found that when I was interviewing kids together, their answers were either the same or influenced by each other’s sense of humor.
I am estimating that the story will be from twenty to thirty pages long. The size of the book has not been decided yet but it will be the average size of a children’s book. When it comes to the layout of the pages, each page will be divided in half, one side being the illustration, the other being the text. Some illustrators that I really like are:
Crocket Johnson (famous for “Harold and the Purple Crayon”) http://www.k-state.edu/english/nelp/purple/
E.H Shepard (Original Winnie the Pooh illustrator) http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/whats-on/online/witw/drawings
I like the simplistic imagery each illustrator creates, which is what my illustrations will be based on. If you haven’t seen the video yet of Flight of the Conchords interviewing the children and recording the song then click on this link and have a couple laughs:
Let me know if you have any questions or comments