Wednesday, December 7, 2011

To Write a Picture Book

My latest picture book, Facing Fear(working title) is about Enrico. His family calls him Kiki. He is a ten year old Mexican American, born in the US, to undocumented immigrants. This project has me interviewing FBI agents, news reporters, teachers and young Mexicans, and passing through secondary border checkpoints.

I traveled to ElPaso, TX last weekend where I talked to kids at the fence. They were in Juarez and I was in Texas. La migra (border patrol agents) in armored vehicles watched patiently from four directions.So much more goes into the writing of a book than ever gets on the page. This is as true for a picture book as it is for any other work.

How can I tell this story in 800 words? Why won't Kiki's father let him travel to the tournament with his soccer team? Why is his sister so angry with him? Why do they have to hide at Tia's house overnight?

How will I capture the struggle the fear, the hope, the love in 32 pages?


Leslie Davis Guccione said...

I am totally hooked. Compelling and poignant~~& true.

Barbara O'Connor said...

Oh, wow.....if anyone can do it, you can. What a powerful story.

Esther said...

Hi Karen! Sounds like an amazing premise. I did a hike from Sasabe to Tuscon with an immigration awareness-raising campaign and was not the same person afterward. I wish you good courage in the writing!