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Monday, October 4, 2010


Most picture books are made up of 16 spreads.  A “spread” is both pages of an open book. 

To represent the spreads, draw sixteen rectangles on a piece of paper, using four rectangles per row.  Draw a line down the middle of each rectangle to divide them into 2 squares.  These represent the picture book pages with text and illustration (usually 32 pages). 

Rectangles 1 – 4 represent the beginning.  Introduce characters, the setting, the character’s want, the conflict. 

Rectangles 5 – 11 represent the middle of your picture book.  Introduce other characters (most picture books should have 2 – 3 characters), action, and complications.  Rectangle 12 is the crisis or climax page. 

Rectangles 13 – 16 represent the ending.  Examine the character’s feelings and solve the story problem. Include a physical resolution and an emotional resolution.

You can fill in the squares with sticky notes and move them around, if needed.  This technique will  help you visualize your story.

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