Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fun With My ABCs

Have you ever tried to write an ABC book? I did once when I was doing children's stories and it was very difficult. I tried to rhyme verses and just couldn't get very far into the alphabet so I gave up the idea.

I bought my grandson Ty a very cute pop-up ABC book called Alpha Bugs by David A. Carter. He loves it. He is just under two and is very careful not to tear off the pop-ups.

This must have been in my head because one night when I couldn't sleep the first line of an alphabet book came to me. I went on and pretty soon, I had most of the letters. I kept coming back to the vowels which were giving me trouble. Finally I had all but X, and Z. (I was told that to see if you have a good idea for an ABC book, give it the QXZ test. Those are supposed to be the hardest letters to use.) Well, in my book, I got what I thought was a cute Q idea, but X and Z weren't there. I knew that if I left if go for awhile, I'd get some ideas so after that decision, I finally went to sleep.

Later the next day, I decided to try an idea I had and looked up X in the dictionary. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did get a great word that I thought was a clever choice. Then I just looked at the Z list and I found something that fit and worked in with the story line and I was done. Now, all I have to do is decide if I want to try to do some rhyming verses or just let it be simple and say the letter and what it is. I might try to finish this project and send it to a picture book editor. I have ideas for the illustrations, though I don't draw well enough to do them myself.

Someday when you can't sleep, try an ABC book. You will either get so bored you fall asleep, or you will have a great little idea. Just don't forget to give it the QXZ test.


  1. How cool! Your ABC book came to you--you should definitely submit it. Kids and parents always need a new, clever one!

  2. Love this idea! Hope you get that last letter and we see it published!!! :O)

  3. Oh my goodness this would be hard!! I would fall asleep immediately!

  4. Awesome, Nancy! What you've done here is almost exactly what a writing article I read today recommended. (It's in the most recent edition of Writer's Digest) The author discussed how it can be more effective to relax and not try too hard when attempting something creative. It's actually when you're doing something else like gardening, taking a shower, SLEEPING ;o)that the ideas will really flow.

  5. What a great idea! I hope you do finish it and send it to an editor. They usually like to choose their own illustrators, anyway.

    When I can't sleep, I sometimes do ABC prayers. A, my friend Anne; B, Benjamin, C, Carol, etc.

  6. I'm impressed that he didn't rip off the pop-ups. I still have to get on my 3 yr old about that *sigh*

  7. Hi Nancy -

    This sounds so cute! I hope you get it published. :)