Onsite youth market instructor Michelle Markel‘s latest publication is The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau, a picture book account of the famous self-taught artist. It received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, which called the writing “jaunty, confiding and affectionate” and praised the artwork of illustrator Amanda Hall. The book was also selected by the Junior Library Guild.

Michelle has these words of advice for aspiring picture book authors:

“Pacing is critical in picture books. Compare and contrast your story to several books with similar subject matter. Note the placement, and length, of passages that develop character, introduce conflict, build tension, and present the climax, relative to the entire books. Experiment with these models as you revise your manuscript. You may see dramatic improvements.”

Congratulations, Michelle!

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