I had this idea and it all started with a dog. Not just any dog, either, but … “the biggest and reddest dog on the street.” To be fair, my first grader was the one reading, but as I was soaking the moment and the words spilling out of his precious, new-reader mouth I quietly marveled as this one particular line. It was perfect. Succinct enough for the picture books of today (even though it wasn’t) and clever enough to capture a kid’s imagination. Oh, how I yearn to write lines like that! (Ps- Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Birdwell)
So, I decided that I’m designating Fridays as #favoritelinefridays, and continue to relish in the beauty of the best lines around. You know the ones that cause you to stop and think for a second or smile as it tugs at your heartstring. Maybe it’s the perfect punchline you didn’t see coming or the clever wording that speaks fluent 4-year-old but while allowing a 44-year-old to understand as well. I figure the best way to elevate the status of the lines that I write is to surround myself with better lines than I could’ve dreamed of writing. So, I’ll read them, relish them and share them too… on twitter, of course, every Friday. I’d love for you to share yours too, regardless of the genre because good lines are gifts that keep giving.
Here are a few that I’ve shared so far:
– February 15th “I may have been swallowed but I have no intention of being eaten.” THE WOLF, THE DUCK & THE MOUSE by Mac Barnett and Jon Klaussen (Candlewick)
– February 22nd “So Mr. Tiger decided to return and he found that things were beginning to change.” MR TIGER GOES WILD by Peter Brown (Little, Brown & Co.)
– March 1st “Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you. And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along, you’ll start happening too.” OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! By Dr. Seuss (Random House Kids)
– March 15th– “Back in the days of long skirts and afternoon teas, a little girl named Joan Procter entertained the most unusual party guests.” JOAN PROCTER, DRAGON DOCTOR by Patricia Valdez and Felicita Sala (Alfred A Knopf)
– March 22nd – “The moose came to him a while ago and he knew, just KNEW that it was meant to be his.” THIS MOOSE BELONGS TO ME by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel Books)
– April 5th – “Everything on land was strange and beautiful-but also kind of scary.” NOT QUITE NARWHAL by Jessie Sima (Simon & Schuster)
I’d love for you to share your favorite lines from picture books, too! Feel free to use the hashtag, and then we can all bathe in the brilliancy of picture books.
Happy Friday Y’all!
Thanks for reading, come back anytime!