Picture Books Begin with One Idea by Tara Lazar

by Dianne on October 31, 2014


Picture Books Begin with One Idea by Tara Lazar

When Dianne asked me to be a Picture Book Champion in 2012, I wrote:

Tara Lazar - Oct 31

And while I truly meant that, I also want to say that picture books are important because they instill a life-long love of reading.

That’s one of the reasons why I created Picture Book Idea Month (or PiBoIdMo, as it is fondly called), a November writing challenge that encourages writers to create one new picture book concept a day. PiBoIdMo’s purpose is to develop great new literature for children. How exciting that the ideas that form in November spark manuscripts which may eventually become a child’s favorite book! The book she asks to be read every night, the book with which he cuddles, the book that changes the way a child sees her world and her place in it. Stories become our BFFs.

I think it’s every author’s dream to write a “favorite” that will be cherished for not only childhood, but for a lifetime. And that’s what picture books do; they impact us with their charm, their beauty and their fun. We can’t forget them. And perhaps that’s now why we create them.

PiBoIdMo promises writers a plethora of inspiration. For 30 days, picture book professionals will blog about how they are inspired. They pass along their creative techniques to you. All you have to do is borrow that magical mojo and write down an idea—a character, a problem, a setting, a title—and store it for future use. By the end of the month, you should have at least 30 ideas to fuel your writing for the rest of the year.

So let’s do some math. (Don’t worry, this isn’t the “new” math.) As of this writing on October 30, there are 965 writers signed up to participate in PiBoIdMo. If all the participants complete the challenge, PiBoIdMo will have generated 28,950 ideas, or 28,950 potential books—28,950 potential child FAVORITES.

That’s amazing! That’s stupendous! Don’t you want to be a part of all that picture book potential? The only way to instill that life-long love of reading is to start creating. Grab a pencil, crack those knuckles, tap that keyboard. It all begins with just ONE idea…

About Tara Lazar
Tara Lazar’s debut picture book, The Monstore, released with the Aladdin imprint of Simon & Schuster. I Thought This Was a Bear Book released in 2014. Tara is also the creator of PiBoIdMo, a month-long writing initiative that encourages people to hatch one picture book idea per day during the month of November. She lives with her husband and daughters in New Jersey. If they had a dog, it would be a small white yappy thing named Schluffy. There’s oodles of picture book fun at taralazar.wordpress.com for writers, readers, and kids of all ages.


Announcing the 2014 Picture Book Month Champions

by Dianne on September 3, 2014


The 2014 Picture Book Month Champions are Chris Barton, Aaron Becker, Kelly Bingham, Sophie Blackall, Arree Chung, Anna Dewdney, Johnette Downing, Ame Dyckman, Jill Esbaum, Carolyn Flores, Lupe Ruiz-Flores, Robin Preiss Glasser, Deborah Heiligman, Marla Frazee, Stefan Jolet, Kathleen Krull, Rene Colato Lainez, Loreen Leedy, Betsy Lewin, Ted Lewin, Brian Lies, Kelly J. Light, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Alexis O’Neill, Sandra Markle, Ann Whitford Paul, Aaron Reynolds, Judy Schachner, Linda Joy Singleton, and David Schwartz.

Marcie Colleen, Picture Book Month’s Education Consultant, will be adding extra value to each day’s post with suggested Story Time Activities and Common Core Connections. We have new partners such as The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and Friends of Tennessee Libraries. In addition, we have a HUGE surprise coming up for this year’s Picture Book Month! We’re super excited.

Stay tuned for updated 2014 materials such as the amazing calendar designed by Elizabeth O. Dulemba and correlating materials by our in-house illustrator, Joyce Wan. Katie Davis of Brain Burps About Books also plans on great interviews with select Picture Book Month Champions.

November is Picture Book Month. Read * Share * Celebrate!


Dianne de Las Casas
Founder, Picture Book Month


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