Childish Nonsense

Exploring Children's Literature

PiBoIdMo Lives On

on November 11, 2012

Maybe I should mind sharing all my ideas, but I have a strong feeling that, even if people steal these, our books would be very different. Besides, if I can help inspire, that’s good too. It’s all about the kids who will read our books. So here is a journal-style accounting of the picture book ideas generated this week.

Sun. Nov. 4 – I saw an article the other day about all the plantings that have been inspired by Lady Bird Johnson’s highway beautification idea. I know there have been books written about Mrs. Johnson, but I don’t think any recently. Biographies about the person behind the really famous person can be fun. Often more fun than the person in front. Also, we once knew a botanist who was directly involved in getting more native plantings instituted in interstate medians. This might also be a good angle for the ecology. Her efforts live on.

Mon. Nov. 5 – This is an idea that grew out of the middle grade book I’ve been working on. How did Helen Keller communicate and what were some of her accomplishments? There have been biographies about her, but most concentrate on her early life. She lived a good, long life and was a very accomplished woman. I’m very excited about this one.

Tues. Nov. 6 – Election Day. Even small kids would be interested in the odd system that is the Electoral College. How did this become the law of the land? What have the problems been? 2000 Supreme Court decision. 1876 debacle. Change to voting strictly for president. Use an illustration involving pencils and markers on tables. Kittens and puppies?

Wed. Nov. 7 – Had trouble getting my head in the game this morning. So I went back to the newspaper. What kind of soil is on Mars? How do we know? Expand into different types of soil on earth and the creatures that benefit.

Thurs. Nov. 8 – Holidays are always ripe territory. Thanksgiving particularly so. Nearly all cultures have some ritual in which they give thanks. What does it mean to give thanks? What are some of the more interesting/odd thanksgiving rituals? Perhaps follow a bird or other animal to some places to observe.

Fri. Nov. 9 – I’m a little proud of this one. Total nonsense – the way my brain actually works and what children really love. I started with a random word generator to get me going, then I thought about Roger Miller’s “You Can’t Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd.” Some very interesting questions and answers resulted.

Sat. Nov.  10 – This is from another newspaper article. Large animals (megafauna) have been slowly disappearing. The mastodon and the saber-toothed tiger are gone. What caused these extinctions? Now, elephants and tigers are endangered. What have we learned that can help us save these magnificent beasts?

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