PB 14:14 – Day 3 – Top 10 Picture Book Story Elements – Character

Today is Day Three of Christie Wright Wild’s PB 14:14…I had fun yesterday, hopping around to several other blogs to read the other entries.

If you are just tuning into the challenge, click here to go to Christie’s blog post where you will find the link up with today’s wonderful entries: http://christiewrightwild.blogspot.com/2015/02/day-3-vulture-view-by-april-pulley.html

If a book is going to be enjoyed, it has to be strong in certain elements. And, whether it is an adult murder mystery, a light-hearted teen romance or a picture book, the main character must grab our attention and engage us.



Author: Artie Bennett

Illustrator: John Nez

Publisher: Blue Apple

Date: 2014

Word Count: 500 est

Top 10 Element: Character (and also Rhyme, Pacing, Word Play)

What child wouldn’t identify with this adorable panda bear who gets frustrated and loses his cool? My grandson loved this book the very first time I read it to him – and he has wanted to hear it many times since then….probably because the story is also strong in many of the top ten picture book elements. In fact, we had only read a couple of pages and he was already repeating the refrain: “Peter Panda melts dowwwwnnn!”

And the rhyme and word play are so much fun. Here’s an example:

Á trip to the market can be such a treat.

With oodles, caboodles of great things to eat!

A seat in a shopping cart adds to the joy.

Mama knows just what delights her small boy.

Checkout is done and they head to the car.

But then Peter spies a sweet chocolate bar.

Mama stops Peter and firmly says, “NO!”

But Peter won’t budge. He refuses to go.

Uh-oh. Here it comes. Here comes that frown.

Peter Panda melts dowwwwwnn!”

Yup…rhyme, word play plus a character every young child can identify with equals a book kids will love. I need to remember that as I write my next story.

I reviewed this picture book for Perfect Picture Book Friday: https://viviankirkfield.com/2014/06/12/ppbf-peter-panda-melts-down-dealing-with-temper-tantrums/


If you remember, yesterday I was rushing off to post my three non-fiction story ideas for Kristen Fulton’s Mini-Wow. And guess what! I just found out I was one of the prize winners – very excited and extremely grateful because it was the opportunity to do lots of research for the non-fiction picture books I will be writing this year was a prize in itself: http://www.kristenfulton.org/mini–wow-nonficpic.html

And there is another picture book writing challenge coming up on March 1 – 31 – REFOREMO. Organized by Carrie Charley Brown, Research for Reading Month will help picture book writers use mentor texts and more: http://www.carriecharleybrown.com/reforemo/the-reforemo-challenge-is-coming-soon

And then in April, get ready for Angie Karcher’s RhyPiBoMo – Rhyming Picture Book Month…we all know that if you want to write a rhyming picture book, you’ve got to make it PERFECT…this month long challenge will teach you so much: https://angiekarcher.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/save-the-date-for-rhypibomo-2015

Hope you all have a lovely day – more snow in the forecast for tomorrow!

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on February 16, 2015, in PB 14:14, Picture Book Writing Tips and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Congrats on winning Vivian! I am so excited to have so many ideas to start working on 🙂

    Now this book sounds like one I have to get for the grandbabies. I found myself reading you post to a beat. Thanks for sharing.


    • I’m excited also, Joyce! The prize is wonderful…but getting nine ideas is even better. 🙂 Now I have to find time to work on them so I will be ready for WOW week. 🙂
      Today flew by so quickly, I barely got this posted…you are wonderful to have come over to comment. I will try my best to hop around tomorrow and read all the others…and I hope you do get this book..the grandbabies will LOVE it!


  2. So how does it end? What does Peter Panda do? I guess I need to read it! Looks like a cute book!


  3. Congratulations on your win!!! WooHoo!!! You are one busy writer this month!!


  4. This definitely sounds like a fun one! I love books with predictable refrains for reading aloud. Kids of all ages love joining in!


  5. Congrats Vivian on the win! And thanks for making time to give us this review…love pandas, but never imagined they’d have melt downs! They seem like such peaceful characters. Thanks!


    • Perhaps what you’ve said, Damon, is a key to writing a winning story. I usually write with ‘people’ characters…maybe I need to try animal characters who have people characteristics. 😉 😉 Thanks for the congrats…and I’m glad you liked the review. 😉


  6. Oh, what a great story for young children. One they can both identify with and laugh at. Congratulations on your win.


    • It is a story kids can relate to…I guess that’s one of the important elements in stories for young ones….they have to see themselves in it. 😉 And thanks for the congrats, Pat…I was thrilled!


  7. Christie Wright Wild

    It’s a cute book. And kids seem like such peaceful characters too. They’d “never” melt down either… Thanks, Vivian, for the mention of all the other great PB challenges coming up too.


    • You’ve got a great challenge here, Christie…I’m thrilled to be participating, even if I don’t get my story up until later in the day. 🙂 Yeah…there are lots of challenges out there…others I didn’t even mention like ChaBooCha…which I signed up for but just don’t know if there are enough hours in the day. 😉


  8. this book looks so darn cute


  9. I love this book! I’m glad that you guys loved it too! 😀


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