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Monday, March 4, 2013

What is Theme? Do you Need Ideas?

What is theme? Do you Need Ideas?

If you’re a children’s author, you may struggle when you try to decide on the theme for your story.  Maybe you’re not sure exactly what a theme is. It’s the lesson you want your readers to remember and ponder throughout the story.  The theme will be repeated several times throughout the book. Your choice of the theme is important because it can help children develop character.  Here are a few suggestions.

·        Sportsmanship, even if you don’t win- When I was a little girl learning to ride horses, one of the hardest lessons was learning to lose gracefully. Maybe one of my friends won a competition, but it didn’t seem fair because she never practiced. Instead, she hopped on her pony the morning of the show, when she hadn’t paid any attention to him during the week. By contrast, I polished my pony every day and worked, rain or shine, trying to perfect my skills. It was hard to be gracious when I lost. Eventually, I figured out that my day would come if I kept working toward realizing my dream of becoming an accomplished rider.

·        Recognizing that the inner qualities of someone are most important-With all the negative, materialistic things that children see on television today, it might be difficult for them to learn that the outer beauty of a person is not the most important. Instead, they should find the inner qualities in their friends. These are the things that show what type of person you are. Do you respect your parents and teachers? Are they kind to everyone, even people with whom they disagree? We always stressed this to our children when they were small so that they learned to choose friends with kind hearts. Learning to find people’s inner beauty will also help you accept and befriend those who have physical or mental handicaps.

·        Learning to share with others- This is a concept that children can learn at an early age. If Suzie is encouraged to share her toys with her new playmate, Kara, she’ll see that both of them can have an enjoyable day. This way, both little girls will begin to focus on the needs of others. In my book, Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes, Charlene and her friends learn the value of working together and they accomplish amazing things.

·        Everyone has different talents- This is an important message and one that is stressed in my book, Charlene the Star. Charlene comes from a family of famous racehorses. To make matters even more challenging for Charlene, her best friends, Blossom and Ann, want nothing more than to become outstanding racehorses. Charlene finds racing just isn’t her thing so she needs to make some decisions on her career path.

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