My favorite rhyming book (at least since I’ve had children) is Iggy Peck, Architect. In this book, author Andrea Beaty uses advanced language (many architectural terms), complex rhymes, and exemplary rhythm to take Iggy Peck from baby to successful second grade architect.
Iggy Peck, Architect is (in no particular order):
- funny on multiple levels (from potty humor to jokes that will go over kids’ heads)
- heartfelt (the reader actually cares about what is happening to the characters)
- filled with advanced vocabulary (that will extend but not confuse children)
- entertaining to adults as well as children (which will encourage parents to read it more often, and therefore encourage children to read more often)
- relatively unique in topic (how many books about child architects have you read?)
- wonderful rhymes with spectacular rhythm (last, but certainly not least)
This is exactly the type of picture book text on which I model my writing.
If a book can be funny, that’s great. If it can also be heartfelt, all the better. Using advanced vocabulary to add an educational aspect is a benefit. A book that can entertain adults will make me (as an adult) want to read it more often. And if there’s something that gives a unique aspect, you’re running into ‘classic’ territory.
But if your book’s got all that and rhythm & rhyme – then you’re headed to the children’s book writing hall of fame, my friend!
And I haven’t mentioned David Roberts’ illustrations (they’re gems, btw). For a more detailed review of the book, check out Off the Library Shelf.