F O L K L O R E
C H I L D R E N S' B O O K S
P O E T R Y
In my picture book, Imagine That! How Dr. Seuss wrote 'The Cat in the Hat', I include five writing tips that I distilled from Dr. Seuss’s interviews and from the recollections of his friends and family. Here’s a little more about the third tip:
Tip #3: Stir up story ideas by doodling
“[My books] always start as a doodle,” declared Dr. Seuss. “I may doodle a couple of animals. If they bite each other, it’s going to be a good book. If you doodle enough, the characters begin to take over by themselves—after a year and a half or so.”
(I love these wacky descriptions of his creative process.)
Also, according to Dr. Seuss, drawing was the easy part of creating a picture book. It was the writing that was difficult.
Blogger’s note: I agree that doodles are very useful. Even though I am not an illustrator, my story ideas almost always begin as doodles on paper, or as little cartoons in my head. I continue doodling as I expand the story ideas, too.
I am an author and folklorist based in Portland, Oregon.
Imagine That! How Dr. Seuss Wrote 'The Cat in the Hat"
(Random House, 2017). Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes.
*Starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly and Kirkus.
The Great Dictionary Caper, illustrated by Eric Comstock (Paula Wiseman Books, Simon & Schuster, 2018)
**Starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist.
Wild About Books, illustrated by Marc Brown. (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2004). New York Times Bestseller, ALA Notable Book, and winner of the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award.