The PIXAR Generation (of Parents) … & Picture Books

What makes PIXAR movies so great? Lots of things, of course. Being the first to create fully computer animated films was cool. And the characters are very marketable and kid-friendly. Maybe the most important thing is that nearly all of the movies tell excellent stories. But what originally made PIXAR movies so different from other kid flicks?


PIXAR movies entertain adults.

Lots of other studios have tried, some very successfully, to emulate this feature (pun intended). See this winter’s LEGO Movie.

This is my approach to writing picture books. A recent post on Writer’s Digest by Rick Walton discussed 10 reasons why picture books are not just for children, and without repeating every point, I’d like to say that I couldn’t agree more.

Some highlights include (I’m paraphrasing, but you should really read the article):

  • Picture book language is and should be somewhat advanced. Exposing kids to big words, whether they understand them at first or not, is a really good thing.
  • Picture books contain some of today’s best art by some of today’s best artists. And who doesn’t like art?
  • Picture books are great for bonding, family together time, sitting on Grandma’s lap. So when those advanced words come along, Grandma can tell you what a accoutrements means.
  • Picture books are short. Five or ten minutes and you’re done.

Not all picture books are meant to be enjoyed by adults. Some are meant to help kids learn to read. Some are meant to teach children lessons (although I don’t think that means they definitively have to be uninteresting to adults). And some tastes of children need to be fulfilled, regardless of whether a parent has interest.

Regarding the books I write – it’s my goal to try and entertain everyone:

from infant …


… to ancient.


PS Don’t be offended by my use of the word ancient – I’m using my poetic license because infant and ancient are near rhymes. That’s what poetic license means, right? It’s like a get-out-of-jail-free-card, isn’t it?

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