Gifts you can write: picture books

Last week I wrote about giving the gift of words this Christmas—especially to those hard-to-buy-for people in your life. And now, dear readers, it seems you want some specifics. Interested in creating a gift of words for someone special this year? Read on for picture book ideas…other sorts of writing-related gifts later this week.

Picture Books

WAIT! Don’t skip this section! Sure, writing and illustrating a picture book in time for Christmas sounds like a colossal task, but it doesn’t have to be.

Any number of traditional picture book types can be personalized for your particular young reader.

  • ABC books
  • “About Me” and “About My Family” stories
  • Going to bed books
  • “I love you more than…” books

Or try one of these ideas on for size:

  1. paint_sampleWrite an adventure tale featuring your youngster as the protagonist. Illustrate with a combination of funny stick figures and photos; or, skip the personal artwork entirely and illustrate with photos, modified photos, and photo collages.
  2. Does your youngster have a favorite pet? Feature him/her in a story short and silly or simply in a book all about the child and pet.
  3. Create “photo illustrations” for a story about a favorite toy or stuffed animal by posing toys in different locations and situations.








  • Use free software such as Picasa and Paintto create collages and edit photos.
  • You can create books the old-fashioned way, by stitching pages together; or paste text and illustrations into a photo album or notebook; or print out pages and staple, put in a loose leaf notebook, and so on.
  • Photo printing sites such as www.shutterfly.comwill  let you create “photo books” with text for a reasonable cost.
  • Or present your story in a less traditional format, such as a blog. Blogger sites can be made private, so only your intended reader can view, and Blogger software is a simple tool for linking “pages” to create an online storybook.
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