Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Concepts Behind Concept Books

Have you ever been to a children's writing conference where the topic of Concept Books wasn't at the top of the discussions around the lunch tables?

I’ll bet I’ve heard twenty different explanations of the term Concept Books. None of them have been satisfactory to me. Once again Suen speaks my language. We’re on the same wave-length or something. She’s making this and other terms clear to me at long last.

She says: (pages 49-50)

A concept book is an idea book. For toddlers and preschoolers, the concepts are very simple. Concept books show colors, numbers, letters, and other simple ideas such as shapes, sizes, opposites, and spatial relationships (ie., over, under). Just as they did with board books, parents and children read these books to develop language…

Other concept books are about self-concept (self-esteem) and social issues such as disabilities, disease, and death. Social issues books fit into all three genres: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Ta-da! Once again, Suen has blown away the dust from a concept for me--this time regarding Concept Books. Am I the only hopeful author who has been in a haze over some of these ideas? I sure hope not! If I’m alone in my confusion than I should rename this blog “Confessions of a Writer In a Fog,” or some such thing.

I know that I think literally. I need clear definitions and cute little bullets to help me grasp the intricacies of creating incredible PBs.

Suen’s book, Picture Writing, is giving me those things. Thank You, Lord, for sending this book my way!


Linda A. said...


You're not in the fog alone. Concept books has been a concept often misrepresented or ill-defined. Most publishers I have read up on don't seem to handle the social issue concept books and the other type are often written inhouse.

I'm glad you're enjoyed your study so much and that it is so helpful. That's wonderful!

wordwranglernc said...

I have GOT to get this book. I am adding it to my birthday wish list!