Today I have a special blog tour stop. It’s been so long since I’ve come across a really wonderful children’s series that I wish I could have read myself when I was younger, but The Rabbit Ate My Flip Flops (as well as book one in the same series) definitely qualifies.
If you’ve got little ones in your life who love to read, especially if they love the furry members of their family, you’re going to want to pick up copies of Rachel Elizabeth Cole’s adorable bunny series. As a rabbit love myself, there was no question in my mind that the author has had and loved bunnies of her own, but you don’t need to be a rabbit nut in order to fall in love with Tiny and his family.
As a bonus, the author also stopped by with a list of things to consder when writing for children!
About the Book
You can’t bring a rabbit camping. That’s what eleven-year-old Drew Montgomery’s grandparents say when his annoying little sister wants to bring their pet rabbit, Tiny, along on the trip. And Drew agrees. It’s bad enough that he will miss the release of the coolest video game of the year while he’s stuck in a cramped travel trailer for a week with his grandparents and sister. But Tiny is certain to cause trouble. Plus there are bears and eagles in the woods. And what if Tiny gets lost?
But Libby smuggles the rabbit into the trailer anyway. Now Drew’s got to keep Tiny out of trouble. And that’s not easy to do with Libby always letting him out of the cage and a pair of rabbit-hating bullies ready to let their dog chomp him if he gets too close.
Top it off with never-ending rain, bloodthirsty mosquitos, a broken toilet, stinky outhouses, angry squirrels, terrible food, and an eye-gougingly boring “schedule of activities.” Drew is about ready to take the rabbit and hitchhike home before disaster really strikes.
Seven things to consider when writing for children
- Read as many children’s books as you can get your hands on. Read newly published books, read classics, read debut authors and bestselling authors. Read both traditionally published books and self-published books. Get recommendations from librarians, book sellers, teachers, parents. Analyze what you read. Pick it apart. Figure out what makes it work and what doesn’t.
- Know your target audience. Are you writing picture books? Early readers? Middle grade? Young adult? Each has their own requirements and reader expectations. You will need to know these to reach your target audience.
- You don’t have to have kids to write for kids. But you will need to remember what it’s like to be a kid if you’re going to connect with them as readers.
- Picture books and early readers don’t have to rhyme. Writing rhyme is harder than it looks. Unless you’re Dr. Suess or have studied poetry and know what things like meter and measure and iambic pentameter are, it’s probably best to stick with prose.
- Children’s books don’t have to have a moral. Lessons can be learned, for sure, but don’t pound your readers over the head with them. It can turn them off reading your book. Entertain first, educate second.
- You don’t have to kill off the parents. Yes, characters in children’s books need to solve their own problems, but there are other ways to get the parents out of the way so they can do that. Make the parents busy or self-absorbed. Send them away and leave the kids in the care of someone less invested in them. Send the kids to boarding school or summer camp. Give the parents a divorce. Or, better yet, make them part of the problem.
- Don’t bore your reader. This is true for all books, but especially true for children’s books. Kids don’t have the same attention spans we adults do. You need to catch their attention from page one and then never let it go.