Congratulations to Darlien Simos, first-time author who already has raving fans of her early reader characters, Scooter and Smack.  Simos had five stories composed, each featuring Scooter the dog and his best friend, a squirrel named Smack. Rather than producing five different books, she decided to keep her stories short and sweet and publish one book containing the collection of “5 adventures for early readers.”  Each adventure has a lesson, the kind that early readers eat up as they learn “the moral of the story” just by following their favorite characters and learning along with them. 

The illustrations are key. The “reader” will likely be a parent, teacher, or other adult, but the child is the one to engage, to delight, to teach. Zoe Radford did an outstanding job keeping the illustrations simple, colorful, and fun to see as they tie in to the story.

In The Adventures of Scooter and Smack, there are easy vocabulary and rhyming words, so young readers can take on each story when they’re ready. 

Many of us (myself included) have written or imagined an original story for children. If you can illustrate it yourself, great! Otherwise, be sure and choose an artist who can make your characters come to life, look consistent in each scene, and appear in the style that YOU want. Check for best-selling children’s books and you’ll see a huge variety of styles. If one really speaks to you, great! You can ask your illustrator to “match” that style; one of my authors wanted a soft watercolor look for every illustration, whereas another author wanted a completely different style of “digital art,” and another used mostly photographs of her own pets (with some supplemental illustrations). 

“A picture is worth a thousand words,” said any successful children’s book author. 

Do you have a favorite animal or childhood pet that makes you feel “warm and fuzzy like a puppy” just bringing them to mind? Let them inspire you to write a children’s book. That’s a touching legacy. 

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