I have been working on the same picture book dummy for a few years now. One year ago I started going to a monthly critique group with some SCBWI members. There are quite a few people there working on various types of children's books. There is a children's book illustrator who is working on her own book. An adult mystery writer who is trying to break into the children's book market. There is a published children's book author looking to get a second book published. And there are people like myself who are trying to break into the publishing business for the first time. I love going and am a fan of quite a few of these writers.
There are up to 10 people at each meeting and only 4 are able to submit work to the group at time. So we are on a rotation list. Last night I got to show my book dummy again. Over the past year I have shown it 3 or 4 times. I am looking at the original version from a year ago and have compared it to the newest one and am very happy with how it has progressed.
Last night I finally came up with a title that I love. The working title has been "What Would We Do If Our House Was a Zoo". It's a good title on its own and gives a hint of what is inside. One problem is that the book is not a rhyming book like the title. The title also suggests that the characters are having an issue with their house being a zoo. The parents do but the kids are quite happy with the animals. I also do not like the word 'Zoo' in the title. It is used all the time.
The story is not incredibly original. So I need a title that stands out from other similar books. I would also like to use the characters from the book in future books.
So the title is now "Lion in the Laundry: A Nora and Adam Adventure". It is a tweaked version of the title I brought with me to the critique group last night. The group helped me come up with this and I am very happy.
I am also happy with the sketches in the book dummy now and I have a new idea for the cover. So from here I need to do another pass through the sketches - tweaks, make the characters consistent etc. Then I need to finish 2 spreads in color and the cover. I am not exactly sure what medium I will use, but I am thinking watercolor and pencil and maybe some guache.
I am excited now.