Main characters in picture books are supposed to be the same age as the reader. Right! Or is that rule made to be broken? Your challenge is to write a children's story with an adult main character or child and adult main characters.
It's been fifty-eight years since Peggy Parish debuted the first kid relatable Amelia Bedelia book. In this article by Gina Rullo, we can look at Peggy's inspiration for Amelia's character. "Peggy drew inspiration from the class of third graders she taught. She would ask them to do something and a student would ask “Do you mean for us to do what you said?”
When Peggy thought back on her exact words, she realized that if they were taken literally, there could be a problem. That got her to thinking that there might be a story there." After her passing in 1988, her nephew, Herman Parish took over the series.
Other favorites stories with adult protagonist include A Sick Day For Amos Mcgee by Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead, A Hound from the Pound by Jessica Swaim and Jill McElmurry and Those Darn Squirrels by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri.
The next three books from the library came in at the same time and got me thinking about child and adult protagonists: A Different Pond by Bao Phi and Thi Bui (see trailer.)
In the story, I Am A Bird by Hope Lim and illustrated by Hyewon Yum, a bird-loving little girl takes a daily bike ride with her dad, everyday they pass a woman who frightens her—until she discovers what they have in common.
"I am a bird. Every morning, I fly like a bird on Daddy's bike. Ca-Caw! Ca-Caw!
I sing like a bird on the way to school. Ca-Caw! Ca-Caw!
People wave and smile, and the birds sing back. Ca-Caw! "
We Became Jaguars by Dave Eggers and illustrated by Woodrow White creates a whole new world when Grandma comes to visit. Grandson and grandmother transform into jaguars!
"My grandmother came to visit.
I had met her once before.
She lived far away.
Her hair was very white
and very, very long.
My parents went out and left us alone.
My grandmother got on the carpet and growled.
'Let's be jaguars,' she said."
Drawn Together by Minh Le and illustrated by Dan Santat is one of my favorites! When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens-with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.
"So... what's new Grandpa?"
Tell us about some of your favorite books with adult and child main characters. Enjoy the challenge.