Latvian children's author at Liels Un Mazs, Maira Dobele, reveals the steps she takes and the approach she has in writing for children.
Maira is the scriptwriter and author who created the original poems, songs, and speech to accompany the written stories in The Shammies series of books and digital pens, featured in our recent Smart Regions report.
Living in Finland, she explains how thinking like a child and carefully planning your picture layouts and character ideas are essential for an author writing for pre-school and kindergarten children.
"First I look at the age group I'm working for, check the pedagogical (teaching) guidelines, what this age group should know," said Maira. "Then I also sometimes go to kindergarten and check out some of those subjects, like nature or mathematics, how are they studying it there, and then I sit down and start to write."
"Then I go ahead opening by opening (page by page). With the opening, I mean this. First I write how the picture will look, then I write which spots will be the active ones. And then I write them, who says what," added Maira.
"Then it goes to the editor, then it goes to the illustrator Atom Art sometimes it comes back."
Think like a child
"Thinking like a child has never been difficult to me, I have not forgotten thoughts or way of thinking when I was a child."
"Children want just fun, and colours, and subjects and pictures what they know, places they recognise."
Maira adds, "It's not so easy not to write too difficult, it's not so easy to write funny things. Maybe those are the most difficult bits."