Children want to write from their very first day at school – Donald Graves
Here at the Writing For Pleasure Centre, we believe all children are writers. It’s perfectly possible to be two years old and to also be a writer. Look at Dottie’s book Mummy, Nanny, Bear & A Kite if you don’t believe us.
You’ll notice that books made by children of this age are in many ways pretty similar to what we expect from picturebooks made by adults. Dottie’s example is a wordless picturebook that tells a story. The story is being told through the pictures and the child’s reading of those pictures. Other picturebooks made by children will also have what is called ‘kid writing’ in them (Young & Ferguson 2022). This is what can make them different to adult picturebooks. For example, kid writing isn’t conventional. It isn’t always what we expect as adult readers but it’s totally acceptable to the youngest of writers. Kid writing can include: lines, squiggles, letter-like shapes, strings of random letters, and even some ‘sound’ spellings or conventionally spelt words (Byington & Kim 2017).
Some people believe children can’t or shouldn’t be invited to be writers until they can write conventionally (spell and know how to write all the letters of the alphabet). We can prove them wrong!