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John Beith (jaybee@writeme.co.uk) (Bradford, England)

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You Can Write Children's Books (You Can Write It!)
You Can Write Children's Books (You Can Write It!)
by Tracey E. Dils
Edition: Paperback

76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aspiring Children's writers need this book, 17 Mar. 2002
If you are thinking about writing for children, and don't quite know where, or how to start, then this book is for you. The author guides aspiring authors step-by-step, through the process of getting published. The book is aimed primarily at new writers, although even a more experienced writer without experience of writing for children, would find certain parts of the book informative.
The thing that makes this book so different from others on the same subject is the way everything is explained so clearly. It tells you everything you need to know about getting started. Non-fiction books for children (a genre sometimes overlooked by writers) humour, activity books, picture books, you'll find them all covered in this book.
Sections on making sure your manuscripts are presented correctly, how to write cover and query letters that will get your work noticed, how to research publishers, the book gives excellent advice in all these areas. This information doesn't only apply to writing for children. It is advice that a novice writer can apply to any genre of writing. At the end of each chapter in the book there are tips, and exercises, about the subjects just covered, a good way to judge your progress.
After reading this book, you cannot fail to be inspired. If you are an aspiring children's author you should have this book.

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
by Adrian Room
Edition: Hardcover

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than just a reference book, 17 Mar. 2002
While the title of this book would seem to indicate that it contains only passages or phrases from fables, it offers an awful lot more.
The references inside cover a multitude of different things. There are references to mythology, ancient history, everyday expressions, and new or relatively new words that creep into the language - words like Paparazzi, or Godzilla. The book is really a mix of language and general knowledge.
There are entries for real people, and also for characters from legends, fairy tales and plays. If you're like me and are full of useless information and trivia, then you'll love this book, because it's full of stuff like that. This is where it differs from an ordinary dictionary, or encyclopaedia. You can pick it up any time and find something of interest. Many of the entries are like very short synopses or stories in their own right. This book is a great tool for anyone needing a prompt, or ideas, to write an essay, or article. Because of it's broad range of subjects and the way they are presented.
Open the book at any page and something will catch your eye. You'll find yourself saying, "I didn't know that" or " Oh that's why we say that"
The book is well laid out and each entry includes the origin of the phrase or word. It's a large book at almost 1300 pages but it does cover an awful lot of different subject areas. While it is basically sold as a reference book it's far more than that, it's also enjoyable and good fun to read.

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