Tips for Creating a Picture Book

Here are some general tips to help children get started in creating their picture books, including thinking about character, settings and planning the story. You can also download these tips via the link, below.



Before you start working on your own picture book, explore some of the brilliant picture books available in your local library or in your school library. That will give you a sense of what makes a great picture book and how the words and images work together to tell your story.


So how do you begin your picture book? Where do you start?

CHARACTERS: Some authors start by deciding who their main character will be; an animal, a human or perhaps a robot? You will need to decide their name. Is the main character alone or will there be other characters with them?

SETTINGS: What is the setting? Is it in a house, in the jungle or under the sea? Perhaps you want to take your character to another planet?

THE STORY: Then you need to think about what your character is doing, where is he or she going?

You could ask yourself: What does my character want and how is he/she going to get it? Set up a problem and then see how your character will resolve it, perhaps with a twist in the tail!

Don't forget to write down all your ideas, brainstorm them with your friends, and then choose the idea that you feel is the strongest


Remember that most picture books are up to 700 to 800 words long -- and some are much shorter with just a few words -- or even no words at all -- on each page.

Too much text will get in the way, so keep your story as short as you can. Pictures are every bit as important as the words in a picture book.


Most picture books are about 24 pages long, or you can think about it in terms of 12 'spreads' (although your picture book can be shorter than this if you want). You will need to decide how you want your pages to be divided up, with the beginning, middle and end of your story.

Often, picture book stories follow this pattern:

The first quarter of your picture book can be used to set up the story: we meet the characters and find out what the character wants and why this is a problem.

The main part of your story shows us what the character does next and brings the story to a climax. The climax normally arrives around two thirds of the way through your picture book.

The last few pages of your picture book can be used to resolve the story so you have a funny, sad or surprising ending.

It's important that each page of your book leaves your reader wanting to turn over the next page; try to keep your reader hooked with something funny or exciting happening on each spread.

REMEMBER that we need to have your picture book entry in A4 sized paper, and that it needs to be in PORTRAIT style (or upright) rather than landscape (sideways).


Try to create a striking cover for your picture book -- it's the first thing that people will see and it's the cover that attracts people to opening the first pages of your picture book.

You will also need to think carefully to find a title that tells the reader a little bit about your picture book.


Creating a picture book takes lots of work, but we also hope you have fun making your own picture book. We look forward to seeing your entries!

08/01/2017Tips for Creating a Picture Book