PB 14:14 – Top Ten Elements of Picture Book Stories – Word Play

Almost two years ago, I was privileged to travel to Singapore to speak at the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content. I met authors and illustrators from all over the Pacific Rim countries and beyond.

For Day 12 of Christie Wild’s PB 14:14 Challenge, I’m offering one of the books by author/illustrator Christopher Cheng. Not only is he an amazing creator of children’s content, he’s also a stellar speaker at events all over the world – he’ll be presenting at the NESCBWI Conference in Chicago this April…wish I could go!


Title: Water

Author: Christopher Cheng

Illustrator: Susanna Gaho-Quek

Publisher: AFCC Publications

Date: 2013

Word Count: 180 estimated

Top Ten Element: Word Play


Opening Lines:

“In the air that we breathe

on ice capped peaks

frozen in time

trapped in hailstones

in thick melting snow

soaking through roots

rising from trees

dripping from branches”


I just don’t want to stop…do you? The author offers us a delightful buffet of phrases that vividly portray all the places we find water. He plays with words with the skill of a basketball champion dribbling a ball – he puts words together that evoke amazing images in our minds.

Here are some more:

“Turning into creeks

running into rivers

flowing into seas

licked from a leaf

sipped from a stream”

The beautiful watercolor and acrylic illustrations perfectly connect with the simple, yet evocative text and even the end papers follow through with the watery theme of the book. It’s not an easy book to get, but you can click on the link to Chris’ website for more information.

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 25, 2015, in Christie Wild's PB14:14, Top Ten Elements in Picture Books and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. Sounds truly lovely, Vivian. And the cover is gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Vivian, Thanks for posting Top Ten Elements. They clearly illustrate all the ways to revise our manuscripts. Adding a bit more tension/conflict to one of mine now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on MIMI of the PEN and commented:
    Picture Book author, Vivian Kirkfield, has allowed this reblog of her excellent post today. Wanting to write YOUR BOOK? Check this out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw you had reblogged it, Pam…that was very kind of you! This challenge of Christie’s has been an amazing education..as well as VERY challenging to write a blog post for 14 days in a row…I hadn’t done that for a couple of years. 😉


  4. Flowing liquid word play…love it. Thanks for noting this one, it is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad a PB makes us think about water in a poetic way.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful words and I can imagine that the illustrations inside are as stunning as the one on the cover.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds gorgeous! Have you read the brand new Water Rolls, Water Rises?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I so love when an author uses phrases as this one does. I use to have my students do this when writing poetry. Can’t wait to read this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sounds like a delightful book! But also, your description of it is lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful images. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had an international library?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some libraries participate in the InterLibrary Loan, Sydney…our local library in Colorado Springs did…you could ask for a book that was only available in London or France or wherever…if you were willing to pay the postage, you might get it. My hubby used to get books from all 50 states…those they sent for free.


  11. What a beautiful book! Thank you for sharing :).


  12. the cover grabbed my attention immediately. The text is poetic. Perfect combo.


  13. Admiring the commitment you put into your website and in depth information you offer.
    It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while
    that isn’t the same old rehashed information. Fantastic read!

    I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your
    RSS feeds to my Google account.


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