My son loves George. He recently learned to listen to an audio cd of a story that came with a picture book, basically an older version of the read to me picture books he has on mommy’s iPad. Except these ones he listens to more like a podcast because he skips out on the picture book. We listen to it while we drive to keep him from getting bored.
I was wondering about George a lot, since early on he was a model I had for what I was working on. My son love him and has an on and off passion for the monkey. I learned a few things and I am trying to see which of these I could apply to the characters in my book:
1) George is a monkey-nuff said
2) He is exploring-much like a child would. He learns by doing and experimenting. The same method by which a child starts to learn.
3) He has a lot of “hoo-ha!”(in monkey fashion) cheering moments-like a eureka moment.
4) There is a narrator to bridge the gaps between what different kids know about so some kids can watch by picture reading and older kids can supplement the story with the audio.
Off-shoot from number 4…I kept thinking this was something I could use to make my book have more content and still be palatable to younger children. You see I have been trimming down the book because I kept thinking that it was too long and winding and if I compare it to newer kids books for the age group it was too crammed with stuff. But here we were, listening to a “podcast” about George going from Africa, falling into the sea, flying on a balloon and going to sleep…I mean that was a pretty long structure and it kept children glued. Why some books are so short I do not know. But thinking back, when me and my son would read a book we often got left hanging by short reads, and he would simply says “again”… and we would read the book 2 or 3 more times.
With the capacity of the current generation for information, I do not see how children would not be able to absorb a longer story. And if the story is long, readers could skip through the pages and just jump to what is interesting to them.
I had recently cut the story to about half of what it was. I was trying to match all the other books I had looked through since I was not sure. But I think I will stick to the original storyboard, a bit longer and stuffed with useful things to glean from. I mean, I am not writing for the mainstream market with this book. I am writing for the parents out there who want some help in teaching their kids the ways to self reliance. This is not about keeping up with the Jones, but about learning to think independently and acting responsibly.