The One Word Story

If you haven’t seen ReFoReMo’s post today, check it out.  In it, they challenge writers to create a picture book written using only one word. Obviously the word will be used multiple times and will mean something different each time, but . . . Wow.  Just wow.  You have to pick something that can mean many things in many different contexts.

One of my favorites didn’t quite pull it off since No, David used two words.  But one?  The examples that they give are:

Dude! by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Dan Santat

Moo by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Rohnoutka

Ball by Mary Sullivan

Look! by Jeff Mack

I have to admit that when I first heard of this challenge I was pretty dismissive.  “Illustrators can pull it off.  But someone who only writes?  No way.”  And sure enough, there are two author/illustrators, Sullivan and Mack, on the list.  But there are two authors who needed an illustrator to fully bring the story to live as well.

So now I’m taking a close look at this list.  I don’t see anyone being able to pull it off with an animal noise since we already have MooBall is an object but Dude!, Moo, and Look! are all world of dialogue. So what else would work?

Some of the things that I’m thinking about now include:

Onomatopoeia.  Words that are sounds like Moo.  I’m thinking specifically about achoo and pitter patter.

Verbs or Actions.  Could an action verb work?  Specifically I’m considering dance.

Adjectives.  Could you write a board book exploring variations on tall or green?

Be sure to pop on over and read the original post on the ReFoReMo blog.  It includes a write-up by Shutta Crum that explains how she submitted, and sold, this type of single word book without illustrations since she is not an author/illustrator.

And, of course, I have two different ideas battling for space in my head which is totally distracting since I’m on deadline!