Here’s my Perfect Picture Book Friday choice:

The Black Rabbit
Written and Illustrated by Philippa Leathers
Candlewick Press, 2013
Suitable for: ages 3-7
Themes: shadows, fear

Opening Lines: RABBIT WOK UP ONE MORNING and stepped out of his burrow into the bright sunlight. It was a beautiful day.  (Yep, those caps are in the book.)
Synopsis: Rabbit discovers a black rabbit behind him. He tries to run away , but he can’t seem to get rid of the black rabbit. In the dark woods, he escapes the black rabbit and discovers another danger.

Link to Resources: Go outside and look at how your shadow follows you. Try to outrun it. See how your shadow disappears at different times of the day and in different places. You can also draw a chalk outline of your shadow, but you must stand still! Lesson plans on shadows.

Why I Like The Book: Philippa Leathers takes a fun approach to shadows. Enzo laughed at the images of the rabbit trying to outrun the black rabbit. There’s a funny chase scene. Simple and cute.

The Rocky Mountain Chapter of SCBWI conference was wonderful. I met some online writer friends in person and met some industry professionals.

RMC-SCBWI events always provide an opportunity to spend time with Julie Rowan-Zoch, who had the three board books she illustrated for sale in the conference bookstore. Enzo gives her books a thumbs up!

Salina Yoon’s workshops were my favorite. I needed to hear the tips about story, process, and the business side of writing picture books. I love novelty and concept books, so it was wonderful to learn about her creation and marketing process for these books. Bonus: She read us Tap to Play!, which releases in October.
Avi was the keynote speaker. While he said he didn’t intend to be inspirational, he was. He shared many thoughts and a few jokes about writing. What’s the difference between a writer and a 14-inch pizza? A pizza can feed a family of four! Ouch, right?

A few of the presenters at this conference spoke about the limited market for rhyming and ABC books. A couple of people mentioned rhyming manuscripts cannot sell outside the U.S. due to translation issues, as well as market preferences in the U.K. They are also tricky to translate. ABC books were also mentioned as being limited to a U.S. market.

Post-conference I am working on revisions. I received helpful feedback in an editor’s critique and in a picture book intensive with the same editor and 14 (I think) other writers, who shared their thoughts after a quick reading of stories. Fresh eyes are always priceless.
Hope your writing is going well this week.

Find more PPBF at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.