Writers need to write. That should be your priority. But the best way to study writing is reading. Nancy Sanders has been posting about the 40 x 4 Reading Challenge. You can find the first post here.
The 40 x 4 challenge is to read 40 picture books in four weeks. I have to admit that although I read a lot of picture books early in the year, I haven’t checked any out from the library in the last two weeks.
What can you hope to gain by reading a large number of picture books in a single month?
- Read a large number of books from a single publisher and you will get to know their catalogue.
- Read a large number of books on a broad topic to study the competition.
- You will also come away from a challenge like this with reading ideas. If nothing else, I’m always getting ideas based on other people’s titles. “What? That’s not what I thought this book would be about. I was expecting…”
- Want to learn how to write in rhyme? Read rhyming picture books.
- For someone who wants to write STEM, they could read and study STEM books.
- Sometimes I like to read a number of books by one author to see how they handle a series or develop their voice through different types of books.
Whether or not I am currently writing a picture book, I love to sit down with a stack of books and read one after the other. I’m always on the look out for books to buy for Christmas and stories to love.
Some of my recent favorites?
- Dandy by Ame Dyckman
- We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
- Bruce’s Big Storm by Ryan Higgins
- We Don’t Eat our Classmates by Ryan Higgins
- We Will Rock our Classmates by Ryan Higgins
Why not order some books from your local bookstore or library and head through November with a stack of picture books by your side.