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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

There are numerous children's books that have ended with tragedy or death (some of them beloved classics and award winners), so I don't think this is a problem as long as it's well-written and not patronizing in tone to the intended audience. I'll admit, it's hard to judge this particular story since I have no idea what it's about. However, I'd say trust your instincts: if you honestly felt it couldn't be done without traumatizing children and angering parents, you probably wouldn't have started working on it. :)

January 2008

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