Writing in rhyme for children's picture books
How to write a children's story in rhyme
Rhyming is a lot easier than you think. You just have to write sentences backwards! Really, I'm not kidding. Conjour up the word that will end your sentence then trawl through your vocabulary until you finding a rhyming word that has the right context. Then work back from that to fill in the rest of your sentence. If nothing fits, pick a new sentence end word and start over.
If you struggle with finding a rhyming word then there are some great online rhyming dictionaries - just Google 'rhyming'. I confess I do this quite often to find a rhyming word.
The trick is not to pick words with difficult ending syllables, like 'syllables'!!
Stories also need structure. Children (and adults) like a hero who has to overcome a problem which takes the reader through a beginning middle and end. So here is a little ditty below that takes you through that process... in rhyme of course!
Kid's rhyming stories for beginners
If you want to write a story that folk will recommend
You'd better be quite certain it has
A beginning middle and an end.
You'll also need a hero
And lots of action too
Or interest will be zero
Because kids know when something's poo!
Start with some excitement to draw your readers in
If the story is a yawn fest
It will soon be in the bin.
And don't forget a dollop
Of words that smack some WALLOP
Add the onomatopoeia
But remember they have to rhyme!
Put your hero though the mill
To raise a little thrill
If he's bland and everyday
The kid's will say 'NO WAY!'
Keep it running at a pace
To have it flag is such a drag
You want your readers to engage
Have them gagging to turn the page.
Danger's good, kids like to scream
Don't be afraid to treat your hero mean
He needs a chance to learn and grow
So give him scenes of grief and woe
Not too short and not too long
Thirty pages is right on song
Be aware of attention span
And factor that into your plan.
Parents too should be impressed
For your kids you always want the best
If you want your story to go global
Always add a lesson and moral
To bring your story to a conclusion
Don't leave the reader in any confusion
Some joy, some tears and a soupcon of laughter
Then let them go with a 'happy ever after'.
The Lazy Seagull synopsis
The Lazy Seagull is available for order at Amazon.co.uk
The Lazy Seagull is an eponymous story about a young seagull too idle to leave his cosy nest and learn to fly, smugly allowing his Mum carry on feeding his fat tum with little silver fish. Contentment however turns rapidly to confusion as a sudden storm picks up both Lazy and the nest and whirls them from idyllic cliff-top ledge to grimy car park gutter.
Apparently unfazed by his new location, Lazy remains entrenched in his nest awaiting his Mum's next delivery of fish. But with no sign of Mum the local birds and animals take pity on the young bird and try to tempt him to with their own titbits of choice, all of which are refused with typical adolescent ignorance. Not even a cheerful, chubby, Gallic Hedgehog can slide a slug into his beak.
As the friendly animals give up on him, it seems nothing can be done to halt the seagull's decline into hopeless self pity. Only when a scavenging fox decides seagull might be more tasty than trash, does Lazy realise that salvation is in his own hands or in this case, wings!
To his great surprise, flying is easy and natural, he can even see his Mum searching for him and all is well for a happy ever after ending with a cheeky twist.
The Lazy Seagull is a lively and humorous rhyming tale on a theme of growing up. It is upholstered with comfortable alliteration, repetition and onomatopoeia to tickle the story taste buds of beginning readers. The content has messages to explore relating to how and what everyday creatures like to eat, with a hint that trying new things might be good for you! The notion of using our talents to help us get on in life, also provides a moral undertone to this entertaining tale.
A beautiful addition both visually and verbally to a little one's library.