Children want to write – Donald Graves (1983 p.3)
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 might also like to read four-year-old Hank’s book called Mario vs Meowasar.
You’ll notice that books made by children of this age are in many ways pretty similar to what we expect from picture books made by adults. These two examples are wordless picture books that tell a story. The story is being told through the pictures and the child’s reading of those pictures. Other picture books made by children will also have what is called ‘kid writing’ in them (Ray & Glover 2008). This is what can make them different to adult picture books. 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.
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 want to prove them wrong! That’s why we would love for you to take part in our We Can Make Books Too project.
For information on what to do and how to take part, simply download our instructions and template here. Our hope is to collect an anthology of picture books made by children between 2-5 and celebrate what the very youngest writers can already do rather than what they can’t quite do yet.