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khep in re_mused

Picture Books: Sad Endings?

I am working on a children's picture book as a personal project (publication goal, but I am really at the beginning), that is a retelling of a 13th century story. The original story ends with love lost and (to be honest) fatality (via a duel). I would like to stick to the original story, retold for picture book format, however I am wondering how the ending will be taken? It's an ancient, culturally-based tale, with ties to real history, and I think it could be done really well (enter blood/sweat/tears), and has a lot of merit, but I'm not sure how a sad ending of this type would be taken amongst kids, parents, or possible publishers? I would have loved it as a child, but I have been a nonfiction junky all along.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. :)

Comments

Hmm. I think I'd have a better idea of what to respond if you could direct me to the story you're retelling? I do know that I've read a picture-book biography of Frida Kahlo, so dealing with difficult and painful subject matter in picture-book format is possible. It might be in your interest to direct your book toward adults who appreciate such things. Maurice Sendak's Dear Mili ends with the death of the child and her mother amid the Holocaust, so that might be a model for you.

January 2008

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