In Quips and Tips for Successful Writers, I found this nugget of wisdom, which I have read before. But it is true and warrants being repeated. Just substitute picture books in for novels.
5. Re-read novels you wished you’d written. “The first time, read for pleasure,” writes Cinda Williams Chima in 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists. “Enter the dream of fiction and stay there. If the book is stunningly good, read it a second time to find out the how of it. Reading for craft takes the juice out of fiction, but it is a fabulous way to learn how to write well.” This habit of highly effective writers may take the fun out of reading…but it will improve your writing skills immensely.
I am definitely going to read even more picture books, AND reread my favorites! I will become a picture book surgeon in dissecting pages, paragraphs, sentences, and words. So, who dares to take the challenge with me? Any bits of wisdom you guys can share in the comments will help all of us to know what types of things to look out for. Actually, I'll do a little digging and post about it next Wednesday, too.