The Horn Book’s blog post just came out with their, “Book Review of the Week,” for the middle of September. On the review are picture books, middle-grade books, and young adult ones. Take a look.
I am rereading the book, Writing Picture Books, by Ann Whitford Paul. I met Ms. Paul at one of the SCBWI-LA conferences a while back. She was charming. Her book is full of sound advice for writers who write in this genre. She mentions the “story question,” that a writer must ask before starting the story. She writes: “…it behooves writers to think of a general question about the underlying issue they are trying to unravel in each new story.” In other words, what does your character want or what happens if? She continues, “…spend time carefully formulating your question and answer. If you do, the writing of your book will be infinitely easier.”
It's one of the many books I have on writing picture books. I especially like this one because it is a "hands-on guide," with writing exercises at the end of each chapter.
“Each time a child opens a book, he pushes open the gate that separates him from Elsewhere. It gives him choices. It gives him freedom. These are magnificent, wonderfully unsafe things.” – Lois Lowry