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Help re creating a picture book for boys and girls.

(11 Posts)
Musicforlife1 Thu 21-Apr-16 16:06:49

Hello. I am writing a picture/narrative book which will also have beginner piano music in it. I'm aiming it at 4-6 yrs old. I am not certain whether I need to do a boy book and a girl book. I was thinking of aiming it at both boys and girls but wondered if that would end up appealing to neither. I'd be really grateful if any mums could advise me on what appeals and what does not appeal to girls and boys. I'm a grandma now and need to hear it from the grass roots. Thank you so much for your help.

MattDillonsPants Fri 22-Apr-16 11:09:25

Why would a music book need to be aimed at one sex in particular? OP, there is a great deal of focus going on right now regarding making sure that the sexes are NOT separated in this way.

Education is no place for pink and blue. Boys and girls can find the same images and words attractive.

Look at the above site and see what people are saying about books and toys which are aimed at "boys" or "girls"

It's not good.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Fri 22-Apr-16 13:09:28

I agree with previous poster, doing separate books for boys and girls would be a mistake.
I think there was a bit of a craze among publishers for making things unnecessarily gendered but there's been a backlash against this and a lot of parents would much prefer to buy gender neutral things.

Musicforlife1 Fri 22-Apr-16 13:24:59

Great. Thanks for that advice. Just what I wanted to hear. I'm really uncomfortable with the whole boy girl divide. I'll get cracking on it. Many thanks again.

Ohwoolballs Fri 22-Apr-16 13:33:51

OP speaking as a children's bookseller we get so frustrated at the "girls book" and "boys book". It's naff, we have to order more (or none at all) and we end up having to defend it when people complain about us having stock of girls/boys items.
Even some potty training books now don't do the coloured pink and blue ones.

Also, get a decent literary agent - you won't get it published properly without. Self publishing is hard work and can end up with slightly naff results. (Bad illustrations done by nans next door neighbors cousins daughter, poor quality print.)

Sorry! I've gone off on a ranty tangent.

What I will say is crack on and good luck OP! Children's literature is a world of fun.

Musicforlife1 Fri 22-Apr-16 14:01:47

Thanks. Great to hear from a bookseller. And thanks for the advice re professional publishing. Would you know of a publisher willing to print illustrations, text and music score (for the piano). Think it's a bit of a hybrid book. TIA

Ohwoolballs Fri 22-Apr-16 18:15:27

Not sure of a publisher, but would recommend having a look at the Writers and Artists Year Book. It's got loads of contacts and there is a version specifically for children's lit.
It'll have loads of contacts such as illustrators and lit agents for you to get in touch with. Lots of big publishers don't accept unsolicited submissions and only even bother to look over works that have come all cleaned up from an agent. Smaller publishers might be willing to take a gander at a half finished work such as all the text but no pictures and be able to say if it's worth proceeding,

Hope some of that helps!

Musicforlife1 Fri 22-Apr-16 19:09:26

Yes thank you. Big help. I'll have a look at the Writers and Artists Year Book. One step at a time.

ImperialBlether Sun 24-Apr-16 15:06:00

I'm struggling to work out what this book would look like. Are you talking about using musical notation for beginners? Do four year olds often learn to read music?

TiggyD Mon 25-Apr-16 21:53:26

My 4 year olds are getting the hang of it. I work in a nursery in a private school. The music teacher has told them about crotchets and quavers and can "read" a rhythm. "Taaa taaa ti-ti taaa" for example.

Boys would get put of if the book was too 'girly', and vice versa. It's easy enough to make a balanced character. you could also call them Sam and not mention their sex.

Good luck.

Musicforlife1 Mon 25-Apr-16 22:21:21

Thank you for that first hand experience. Very helpful. Love the non description gender of Sam too. Lots of great pointers on here. Thank you.

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