Recently, I read and reviewed the children’s book How Roland Rolls. Written by famous actor Jim Carrey, the book is whimsical and holds a significant meaning. But what makes a good children’s book in today’s modern world? Not only do children’s book create fun stories through words, the illustrations help bring the stories to life. After researching and reading some of the latest children’s books, I have created an equation for how to create the best ones. Authors should combine a fun and exciting story with spectacular illustrations, either self-made or by an illustrator, and top it off with a life lesson that is easy to comprehend.
Obviously the plot and story line are major factors in children’s books; these two things matter for all types of literature! But what is unique about these particular books is the audience they aim for. The genre may be titled “Children’s Books,” but any age group can read them. Most of the time, especially in books made for younger children (ages 3-5), parents/guardians are the ones doing the actual reading. These authors must have a particular type of craft because they are aiming at an audience with many different types of people. The story line not only has to be fun and exciting for any child, but the author should also want to intrigue adults as well. By doing so, adults can read these stories with enthusiasm and do not have to act like they are having fun.
What makes children’s stories stand out from other forms of literature are the illustrations. In most novels and short stories, readers must create their own images in their mind from the words on the page. In children’s books the images are right there for the reader. These illustrations assist the words on the page and make the story come to life. If the illustrations are outstanding, it can cause young readers to scream, “Wow! Look at that!” and allow them to become completely engulfed in the story. The image below is taken from Jim Carrey’s How Roland Rolls. Carrey teamed up with an incredible illustrator, Rob Nason. This illustration gives readers an awesome ocean scene with a surfer, waves, and dolphins. It also has the title written in cool graphics. Throughout the book Nason makes certain words stand out to the readers. All illustrators create vivid scenes that allow readers to engage in the story.
Finally, children’s books should have a particular life lesson. Some stories may have deeper meanings than others, which is normal—I think some authors are just better at touching on deeper subjects. These lessons can be small, for example, always say please and thank you! The lessons can also convey something larger, such as the lesson in How Roland Rolls. Carrey helps us see that although children may think they are of small significance in the world, they are more important than they think. His book makes children know their significance and that they shouldn’t feel like a small wave in a giant ocean.
I wrote a children’s book about three years ago. I wrote it just for fun and it was based on one of my childhood memories. After reading some of today’s children’s books, I believe that I could potentially publish it. It posseses the formula that I have discussed, but I would have to find a very talented illustrator! That being said, children’s books should deserve be looked at and evaluated. Maybe in a couple years my book, The Umbrella Fort, will be on book shelves ready to be read by everyone