Books for Kids
Two telecommunication grads found that writing books for children takes a whole different approach.
Graham Barnard, TEL 1990, was a producer for a visual effects company in Burbank, Calif., until a layoff sent him back to acting school. Needing a steady income, he began working as a project manager for Disney Publishing. That gave him the opportunity to show his skills in writing books for young readers.
"It's hard to write for children. The wording has to be clear and the action straightforward. It took days to refine my phrasing and word choices," he says.
Barnard's books from Disney include Buzz the Space Ranger, Woody the Cowboy and Strike Up the Band. The have also been translated into several languages, including Spanish and Japanese.
Writing copy for a picture book aimed at ages 4-9 proved a challenge for Danny Schnitzlein, TEL 1986. His recent 32-page book is The Monster Who Ate My Peas, from Peachtree Publishers in Atlanta.
Schnitzlein said, "My older brother convinced me that peas were disgusting." Their parents made the boys eat everything on their plates, so "Many nights I sat at the table, staring at a pile of peas, wishing they would disappear." He said that now
"Many adults come to me and confess their yucky food phobias and their childhood tactics for getting rid of the hated vegetables. I sometimes feel like the Food Phobia Priest. Maybe I should make up a sort of penance, or give our rosary peas."
The stay-at-home dad admits to being influenced by Dr. Seuss, and especially Horton Hears a Who.
| Copyright © 2002,
College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida