May 16, 2013

Determining Books to Study

Every two weeks I visit the library and check out 5 or 6 picture books to bring home to study.

Before I drive to the library, I research picture books online, and usually aim to check out books published within the past three years.  It doesn't always work out that way, especially if something awesome catches my eye.  Also, members of my critique group review books, so I know which books they have suggested to read, and which books I should avoid.  So, I usually have a nice list to work from.

As soon as I enter the library, the first section is the children's picture books.  They have a rather nice display, and all of the new, catchy books have their own special display in front, sure to catch the eyes of children.  Oh, and me too!

The problem is that every hot book I want to read is always unavailable and overdue.  I can log into the library's Website and look up books and I can see when they are due to be returned.  Often, the books I really want are way overdue.  I'm sure the late fees pay the library's electric bills.

I normally head straight for the books I have written down, but a colorful book cover always makes me look twice.  The day I checked Hogwash! out of the library, I had not planned on doing so.  I grabbed another book near it, and accidentally pulled Hogwash! out, too.  The cover was cute, so I read the first few pages and decided the rhyming text was exactly what I wanted to read.

After I check out the books, I keep them a week, sometimes two weeks, and I try to document new things I learn.  One trend I have noticed is that many picture books on the market now are funny.  There are, of course, those serious topics out there, but children love to laugh, so humor is a safe element to have in any picture book.

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