- an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
- offset or compare the value of (one thing) with another.
- Don't fall
And you'll be fine!
Balance can be created from nature.
it's a little ridiculous, but I kind of wish I had been part of it.)
|where is this guy's mother?|
So what, you rightfully ask, does this have to do with children's stories?
Well, intelligent friend of mine, I am glad you brought that up!
There are several things that can be done as an author and illustrator to improve your reader's experience. Not least of which is balance.
The appearance of your pages must give some semblance of balance. Let's think waaaaayyyy back to the yoga guy (five sentences up). There is a center and a balance to this photo that is relaxing, calming. For those of you following along, you'll remember I have mentioned the reader's experience before. Well, here it is again. (must be important.)
There is a classic children's book that shall remain nameless, but includes a small choo choo that may or may not make it over the mountain unless some help arrives quickly.
I often wonder if the author of this great story composed his own pages, or if they were composed by his publisher. For those of you who are not familiar, or aware of my subtleties as to which book I'm referring to, each page is comprised of great images of kids and candy and trains. It is one emotional roller coaster after another for small kids.
Will they make it over the hill?
Will the kids get their food and good candy to eat?
Ahhhhh! The suspense! My three year old brain is going to explode!
Yet it contains one major downfall, each page starts a sentence and each page makes you turn the page to finish the sentence. Start sentence, turn page, finish sentence.
Once upon a time there were three...(turn page) bears.
There is no time to linger and absorb the pictures, or let little minds ask questions or point out the things that excite them. Nope, must finish the sentence and plow through the book as fast as possible! In my house this leads to a lot of, "Wait Mom, just go back, I just have to show you one thing!"Mary had a little lamb who's fleece.... (turn page) was white as snow.
Now I don't care if your story is about how Mother Nature allows wolves to befriend (read: eat) little bunnies. The actual meaning of the words has very little to do with my point here. Take for example, a page like the one below. You can see how your eye is drawn to certain portions of the picture. The sentence starts and ends. Your eye moves across the page before you even know what the words say - there is a natural movement. This is no accident folks. This is art. Beautiful art none... (turn page) -the-less.
Although it's safe to assume that most authors are not illustrating their own stuff, I'd like to think it's a collaborative proces. So, for this team, a few things to keep in mind: