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 will release in 2015. 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.com for writers, readers, and kids of all ages.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacey October 31, 2014 at 9:59 am

I love the cross-promotion on your blogs today. I can’t wait for November to begin. Thank you, Tara, for PiBoIdMo.


michelle eastman October 31, 2014 at 10:54 am

I am proud to be a “newbie” Picture Book Month Ambassador. I am happily spreading the picture book love this month and always! Thank you for creating this inspiring initiative!



Lauri Fortino October 31, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Yes! I do want to be a part of all that picture book potential! Picture books are amazing for so many reasons. At the top of my list is “joy”. Picture books bring joy to kids. Just that one simple reason alone makes picture books important.


Kathryn Ault Noble October 31, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Having heard Diane speak at an SCBWI conference, and participating in Tara’s PiBoIdMo several years, I cannot say enough about how they have influenced this illustrator’s journey into the world of picture books. In fact one illustration in particular, based on an idea from last year’s PiBoIdMo, was apparently the deciding factor in being chosen for the Mentorship Award at the SCBWI Summer Conference at LA this year. Dummy book in process now. Thank you, Diane and Tara!!!


Lauri Meyers October 31, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Tara – I’m awestruck by your math. PiBo really does an amazing and far-reaching impact.


Penny Parker Klostermann October 31, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Love PiBoIdMo! Love Tara! It is every author’s dream that their book be cherished and a cherished book all starts with an idea!


Wendy Myers October 31, 2014 at 11:21 pm

Wow, Tara! You are so inspiring I found myself saying out loud, “yes! yes I DO want to be a part of all that picture book potential!”
To which my husband muttered, ‘oh, it must be November.’
I love your PiBoIdMo! This will be my 3rd year. I am always so excited to fill my sketch book with notes and new characters. Thank you so much. 🙂


Donna Warwick November 9, 2014 at 8:51 pm

PiBoIdMo is one of the greatest of ideas! Tara, you are a cheerleader of cheerleaders. I’m feeling like I am going to make it across the finish line at last! Thanks for taking on this enormous project !


Clara Bowman-Jahn October 24, 2015 at 11:05 am

As usual I am looking forward to November and am blogging about Picture Book Month next week to remind the kidlit community of how much fun there is in November.

I have been a proud ambassador for it for over four years. And have been blogging for five. Love you, Tara! Love your best idea ever. PiBoIdMo! 🙂


Cancel reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: