“Embrace who you really are.”
What she meant by that was that I should be proud that I rhyme (when I write picture book manuscripts). When announcing to the world that I am a children’s book writer, I shouldn’t be afraid to add “of rhyming picture book texts.”
I’ve always stated that it’s my goal to create picture books that entertain both children and adults. I think this is something that is trending right now, to some degree. Jon Klassen’s Hat books are a testament to that. It’s the same reason that people like the Pixar movies so much. There are non-offensive adult jokes that go over the kids’ heads that keep the parents entertained. That’s why we keep going to see those movies.
But trends change. One trend that I hope will change (and I hope to be at the forefront leading this change) is that rhyming picture books are bad. While I don’t think anyone really thinks they’re bad, people have a hard time selling them to publishers. I don’t think it’s because readers don’t want them (I certainly do). I believe it’s got nothing to do with creativity and the arts. I believe that it’s entirely based on $money$. Rhymes don’t translate (into other languages).
Therefore, rhyming texts must stand out based on their stories as much as their clever use of words and timing. Unfortunately, I believe that many rhyming picture book texts are dismissed simply because they rhyme – before they are even given the chance.
Give the rhyming text a chance before dismissing it on principle!