Picture books and poems work better if they have something unexpected in them. Besides originality, an opening that captures the reader, complex characters, conflict, cause and effect, solution, setting, wordplay, rising stakes, humor, a satisfying ending, and a dog….
… (OK. I made that last one up.), a story needs a surprise. It could be a dragon who likes to cook, crayons that make magic drawings, baby birds hatching inside a motorcycle helmet,
a super hero baby, or a dog who paints like an artist….. Unexpected surprises. They help make stories and poems more FUN.
I found an unexpected surprise outside by the laundry room stairs, yesterday.
A hairbrush. Why?
Why is there a hairbrush in the grass outside? Were neighbors fixing their hair before doing laundry? Was a student walking to school doing her hair because she was late? Is the groomer from Petco hiding behind a tree waiting to brush my fur?
What will happen to the hairbrush? Will spiders move in between the bristles and build webs? Will grasshoppers walk through and think they’re in a forest? Will a baseball fly over the garages and land on top of it? Will the lawn guys mow it?
If it’s still there tomorrow, I am going to taste it. I hope the super doesn’t come by and put it in the garbage when he cleans up…. That would be NO FUN.