Thursday, February 13, 2014

Weekend Links: It's All About Character

Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones, by Judy Schachner. Published by Dutton Children's Books/Scholastic. Copyright 2007. WordCount: 1,129.
Analyzing characters in picture books is a great way to see what works and how you can apply it to your own stories. For example, one of my favorite picture book characters is Skippyjon Jones. 

Skippyjon's character is what creates the story. His "inner chihuahua" becomes the driving force behind the mischief he gets into and the mischief he gets out of: plot, conflict and resolution all hinge on Skippyjon's personality. 

The dialogue in Skippyjon books is brilliant in relaying Skippyjon's personality instantly to the reader. Here's a fun passage from Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones:
"Oh, I'm Skippyjon Jones, and I bounce on my bed, cuz I love to eat pickles that tickle my head."
It's easy to see why Judy Schachner has had such success with Skippyjon. He's a memorable, relatable character who speaks to the heart of the child with a humor that speaks to the parent. 

The following videos, all around seven minutes or less, give further ideas on how to develop solid characters in your writing. Have a great weekend.


  1. These days tutorials are on our fingertips. Thanks for highlighting these, Johnell.

  2. Happy to. It's an easy way to learn. You can even cook dinner or fold the laundry while listening.