Most of you know what anthropomorphism is, but for those of you who don't, anthropomorphizing is when the author or illustrator uses animals to stand in for humans and gives them human-like qualities. Anthropomorphic characters are race neutral and sometimes gender neutral, can lighten heavy messages, and don’t need parents. Kids love animal stories. Editors and agents are always looking for something fresh and new. Here are some anthropomorphic stories with fresh protagonists, plus one fun anti-anthropomorphic story that I’ll start with.
Sparky by Jenny Offill and Chris Appelhans where a sloth stays true to its real sloth-like self despite the desperate entreaties of his owner. Hilarious!
Doreen Cronin’s Diary of a Worm, Diary of a Fly, and Diary of a Spider series all illustrated by Harry Bliss.
Emily Gravett’s wonderful Meerkat Mail and one of my all time faves, Lyle, Lyle Crocodile by Bernard Waber.
And of course Mo Willem’s enduring pigeon character in the Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus series are just a few. See if you can find an unusual character to tell your story as Miranda Paul does in her upcoming Blobfish Throws a Party!
Mira is donating a free course! The winner choice of a Hero's Art Journey or Scrivener course or Writing Wonderful Character Driven Picture Books. Each of these courses are an incredible way to take your mentor text studies to the next level! To be eligible, please comment on this post and make efforts to read mentor text regularly.
Dr. Mira Reisberg is an editor and art director and a former children’s literary agent. She’s also the director of the Children’s Book Academy and will be co-teaching an extraordinary interactive Mastering Middle Grade Writing and Illustrating e-course for complete beginners to award-winners with Hollins University prof. Hillary Homzie starting Mon April 3rd right here http://bit.ly/1RiHEqz Mira’s passions (obsessions) include kid’s books, helping others get published, being creative and creating community. Join her mailing list to get a wonderful resource for plotting picture books with underlying themes right here http://bit.ly/CBA-Tribe-SignUp