I recently taught a picture book writing webinar called “Strong Beginnings, Satisfying Endings—and Navigating from One to the Other.” It seems to me that a lot of us get tripped up over that tricky navigating part. With (typically) only 32 pages in a picture book, and the first 3 to 4 pages used for copyright, title page, etc., we’re left with about 28 pages and a few hundred words to build drama, engage the reader, and come to a satisfying conclusion—without introducing too many characters or complicated plot lines.
Agee pulls us in from the first page, then uses what I’d call “step by step navigation” (specifically, 7 steps) to get us to the nicely book-ended conclusion. You can read more about how he does it in this PictureBookBuilders post.
Both books are excellent navigational models for writers—and ferociously funny to boot.