Write a Picture Book - Entertain Children - Be a Hero #1
4.5 (6 ratings)
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Write a Picture Book - Entertain Children - Be a Hero #1

Convey your most important values and life lessons;. Make the world a better place. Create extra income or a new career.
4.5 (6 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
518 students enrolled
Created by Alan H. Jordan
Last updated 3/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $75 Discount: 87% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 6 mins on-demand audio
  • 7 Articles
  • 17 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Decide on a life lesson or value that you would like to communicate to children
  • understand how to help children DISCOVER that value or lesson
  • understand how the illustrations in a picture book tell their own story as well as communicating your story
  • understand how to use photographs to inspire your picture book
  • use one of your favorite children's books as a model to write your own book
  • write a first draft
  • obtain constructive feedback
  • turn the manuscript into a real book
  • Have fun!
View Curriculum
  • Motivation to make a difference in the world, one child at a time.
  • A willingness to think of children as intelligent beings is absolutely essential
  • Microsoft Word, 2010 or later, is highly recommended

Course Update 3/12/2016

Additional videos have been added that show how to transition a rough draft to polished product. Some of the focus on using an artist. I've moved the material to its own section, Section 11.


If you've ever wanted to make the world a better place for children by sharing some of your values and life lessons, this is the course for you. You will learn simple, proven, techniques that will empower you to write the first draft of a picture book. You'll learn how to get feedback on that manuscript, and explore ways to enhance the manuscript. You'll learn how to judge when it is ready to send out for publication or to self publish.

The course includes:

  • Videos - including videos that show how to use successful books as models and how to use photographs to write a book
  • Checklists
  • Audio interviews
  • Pre-assessments
  • Assessments
  • Detailed notes in .pdf files
  • Inspirational materials
  • Labs that will help you to get feedback from your peers and the instructor
Some of the lectures use examples from my picture book, The Monster on Top of the Bed and other books that I have written. This is a comprehensive course for beginners, and you are welcome to ask questions and participate in discussions. After you're written and published your children's book, children will thank you, and you'll find that you're making a difference in the world.
Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for anyone who wants to communicate an important life message or value to young children who read picture books, and is willing to invest time and effort to obtain a book that will make a difference in children's lives.
  • It is *not* for someone who wants to quickly write a children's story and quickly make a lot of money out of it.
  • Do sign up for the course if you want to communicate a positive message such as, "To make a friend treat people the way that you want to be treated."
  • Do *not* sign up for this course if you want to communicate a negative message such as "life is hard and there is nothing you can do to change that."
Compare to Other Writing a Book Courses
Curriculum For This Course
52 Lectures
Different Ways to Write a Children's Picture Book Manuscript
3 Lectures 07:52
Download these books, please.

This lecture shows you why this course in writing children's books will empower you to succeed. (I originally recorded it when the title course title was slightly different. I decided to keep this video because even though the title was changed. Thanks. Alan

Preview 05:04

This is a brief description of who will benefit from the course.

Should I sign up for this course?
Interactive Lectures - Working With Students to Create a Manuscript
3 Lectures 12:09

I'm going out on a limb here as an author. I'm sharing the process that I amn using to write a children's picture book with you, and I'm asking for your input. I'm doing this because it is one way to show the writing process instead of just telling you how to do it. Please use the discussion forum to share your insights with me, and with your fellow students.

Writing the Fun Closet - An Interactive Experience-Student Feedback Requested

I'm going out on a limb here as an author. I'm sharing the process that I am using to write a children's picture book with you, and I'm asking for your input. I'm doing this because it is one way to show the writing process instead of just telling you how to do it. Please use the discussion forum to share your insights with me, and with your fellow students.

Writing The Fun Closet + - An Interactive Experience-Student Input Requested

This is an interactive lecture and it will be expanded. This lecture is based on a suggestion that I made to H.B. after he made this comment to me in an e-mail, "Hi Alan, first of all, thank you for making the course so neatly organized and full of useful information, currently I´m dedicating time at night (since I can give my full attention to your course), As to your question, I have ideas to write fantasy stories for children, glad I found your course, I´ll make sure to ask for your help if at some point I have a problem/doubt, cheers :)"

I suggested to him that he select a Fairy Tale and that he adapt it. If he's interested, we'll work through this with him. Other students are also welcome to tell us a fairy tale that they like and something about the audience for which they are writing. (Your children, students at school, your grandchildren, children who you don't know, but whose parents will buy your book, etc.)

Major Shortcut # 3: Adapting a Fairy Tale - Interactive Lecture
Getting to Know Each Other
9 Lectures 15:03

This first video features Alan H. Jordan discussing the the objectives of Write a Picture Book - Empower Children - Make Money. He explains the course's goals.

Introduction - Part 1

This part of the introduction explains why this course empowers students to change the world for better, one-reader-at-a-time.

Introduction - Part II

The #1 tip, before we begin, to maximize results

This brief video explains why the techniques in this course will build skill sets that help you to write a novel or short story as well as a children's book.

Preview 01:37

Please introduce yourself
1 page

It's always good to feel that your instructor is qualified to teach. Check out this video. Note to Alan: Redo the section with the spreadsheet. Make the view larger.

Get to know the instructor, Alan Jordan

Get a better idea of who the instructor, Alan H. Jordan is as a person. Learn why he uses a variety of different lecture formats, and discover a challenge that will kick start you when you write your children's books.

About Alan, the various lecture formats, and a challenge for you!

What you get out of a course is related to how much effort you invest in it. The resources show how to ask good questions, and use the notes and discussion features. The video pinpoints the advantages of taking notes using the Udemy interface.

Why it is to your advantage to create discussions

This checklist will help you to determine if you've mastered the most important parts of the first and second sections.

Preview 1 page
How You Will Change the World, One Reader at a Time
2 Lectures 03:17

You may be surprised at the impact your writing can have on the world. Review this video to gain some additional insight.

Preview 03:17

This checklist is a quick recap of why your writing can have a huge impact.

Checklist: Change the world, one-person-at-a-time
1 page

Use this quiz to help you understand the true value of this course.

Changing the World - One Person at a Time
5 questions
The Income Potential
1 Lecture 10:32

The real scoop on how much money you can expect to earn when you write children's picture books.

How much will I make?
Technical & Craft Considerations
11 Lectures 43:27

An explanation of why having at least two different stories is a good thing.

Preview 05:03

Because of the small number of words in a picture book, it is important to select each and every word with care.

Please review this video, and also check out the resources that are attached. PBMBS--Picture Books Must Be Short and CHLT - Children Have Little Tolerance.

Make every word count

Children are the easiest audience to please, unless you have bad illustration or writing. Then, they put your book down without finishing it,and never pick it up again. Learn how to avoid this issue. It's easy. Be sure to check out the resource, "The Questionable Value of Using Real Life Examples.

Preview 02:47

Involving your readers is crucial to building loyal fans. This quick quiz will help you to know if you're on the right track to involving your readers.

Reader Involvement
2 questions

Have a look at this critique of a FIRST DRAFT of a book that I am writing to understand the value of conflict. Keep in mind that first drafts are for the writer, not for the reader. They are a place where to get your ideas down for refinement.

As you write your manuscript remember that it's almost impossible to get a perfect first draft, and weak first drafts are normal.

The importance of conflict, with examples.
7 pages

An audio interview with the illustrator of The Monster on Top of the Bed. Manuela lives, and illustrated the story, in Italy. She has an accent when she speaks English, but it is easy to follow.


An Interview with Manuela Pentangelo - Illustrator

This checklist will help you to quickly pinpoint areas of concern. For example, if you have a 2,000 word picture book manuscript (and you're not already a best selling children's author) you'll quickly discover that you have written way too many words.

Checklist: Technical and Craft Considerations
2 pages

This video explains the advantages of using the two shortcut techniques that are built into this course. The shortcuts are drawing inspiration from a popular picture book and drawing inspiration from photographs. Don't confuse a shortcut with cheating. Both of these measures have been used successfully by many authors, one for thousands of years.

Should I use a shortcut or just start writing my book?

If you base your picture book plan on a successful book, you will be emulating the techniques used by successful authors who have spent much time understanding the structure of a book.

You may be surprised at how easy it is for you to write a children's picture book if you use a successful book as a model. The external resources here will let you find one that you enjoy, quickly. The video will get you started on using a picture book as a model.

Major Shortcut 1: Drawing inspiration from a popular picture book

You might be surprised at how easily you can write a story, if you start with a photograph or work of art that inspires you.

Major Shortcut #2 - Drawing Inspiration from Photographs

In this module we discuss how to write a first draft of a children's picture book when you understand what you want to accomplish. It uses the example of one of my children's books, The Monster on Top of the Bed.

The no shortcut way - Writing a first draft when you know what you want to say

Finishing a first draft is an intoxicating experience, even for an accomplished writer. This checklist will help you to understand emotionally that you have finished a first draft, not a book.

Checklist - Writing your first draft
2 pages
Lab - Poetry Inspired by Shel Silverstein
2 Lectures 00:00

This is a poem that I wrote after reading Magic in Shel Silverstein's book, Where the Sidewalk Ends. Magic ends with "But all the magic I've known / I've had to make myself." I didn't try to duplicate Magic, but to use it as an inspiration for my own poetry. I thought to myself, "What's the easiest way to make magic, and how can I convey that insight? My poem "More than a Grin" answers that question.

Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to read Magic. (You can find it in a free preview of the book on Amazon.com if you don't have the book.) Then write a poem that you think will appeal to children. Please create a discussion and post your poem.

Using "Magic " as an inspiration
1 page

Homemade Boat" is a short poem about children who make a mistake, and insist that the mistake is better than okay. They think their boat is just fine. I asked myself, "What would happen if I made a mistake and someone thought I was a genius because of it?" The answer to that question is in the poem "On Exhibit."

Your challenge is to read my poem and Shel Silverstein's poem "Homemade Boat," and then write a poem that's inspired by (not a rewrite of either poem, but an original work) and then post it as a discussion item. If you don't have the book, Where the Sidewalk Ends, you can view the poem in an Amazon.com preview. Enjoy!

Using "Homemade Boat" as an inspiration
1 page
Lab - Using Popular Children's Books as a Source of Inspiration.
2 Lectures 00:35
Examining Green Eggs & Ham

This will be a challenge. Don't expect it to be easy. Short picture books that elegantly convey a life lesson are hard to write.

Creating your own version of Green Eggs & Ham
Lab - Using Photographs to Inspire
2 Lectures 00:24
Unconditional Love

Turtle Climbing Up
Enhancing Your Manuscript
4 Lectures 18:30

We explore the concept of entertaining writing, and the concept of layering. The two downloadable files complement the presentation.

Enhancing Your Manuscript - Part 1

In this part we discuss how to empower children with your writing. We also go over a few technical issues.

Enhancing your manuscript - Part II

This checklist will help you to decide when to start telling the world about your manuscript, and when to keep its presence quiet.

Checklist - Enhancing your manuscript.
2 pages

Polish and publish your manuscript
2 More Sections
About the Instructor
Alan H. Jordan
4.6 Average rating
20 Reviews
2,498 Students
5 Courses
Amazon Bestselling Author - Highly Rated Instructor

As you can see from this page, my courses are diverse and have a four-star and five-star ratings.

For 2016 and 2017 I've decided to focus on:

(1) Creating a series of courses for sales and telephone sales. These are based on telling the truth in the most positive way; and

(2) Creating a series of courses that empower adults (and children) to write children's books. Many of the skills that you glean will transfer over to other fiction, and some non-fiction writing.

I create courses where I actually write a children's book, explain how I've written it, and then walk you through the steps of writing your own book.

I have purposely made these courses short and I write one book per course. You can peek over my shoulder and see how I do it.  Then, you are challenged to write your own book. 

If you want to write a book, this is the course for you.  And, all of my courses (writing and otherwise) have a better-than-money-back guarantee. I'll answer any questions you have, usually within 2 business days. (This is a big deal. If you were to write to my publisher, it would take me about a month to get  your inquiry.)

The courses are appropriate for anyone over age 18 and children of all ages. A helper is required for children under age 13. Helpers typically are a:

* Parent

* Grandparent

* Teacher

* Older sibling

* Uncle, Aunt or other relative

* Neighbor (Age 18+)

* Friend (Age 18 +)

When you take these courses you will be able to write a book, help a child write a book. A special treat is to write a book that you will give, or dedicate, to a child.