Photo by Olya Kobruseva
Kishwar Mirza wrote her book with barnyard and woodland creatures taking the spotlight. These are the types of characters commonly found in children’s books. However, authors can take inspiration from other well-known characters for their next protagonist.
For obvious reasons, children’s literature has always been considered a treasured gem. One, most readers have started their interest through them. This makes them a great stepping stone into the wonderful world of literature.
And two, among the literary genres, children’s books influence their readers the most. Since they cater to children’s young and impressionable minds, whatever story they convey will leave an impact on their lives.
Given these reasons, authors must pay the closest attention to the stories they write and the characters they make. These will be children’s initial models that will mold how they behave and perceive life.
How Authors Create Characters
Writing captivating characters don’t just catch a reader’s attention. They make readers stay. A child’s initial judgment may be based on the book’s visuals. But whether or not they’ll read it depends on how interesting the story and characters are.
While writing a children’s book seems like an easy task. It isn’t. And the most significant contributor to this challenge is the characters, simply because just what will children like to read?
Physically, this has been almost set to stone. Children’s book’s characters should be visually attractive. These should be colorful or funny looking to catch children’s attention. These can also be animals or inanimate objects to help children be more familiar with their surroundings. Or, they can be humans for a more realistic story.
For instance, author Kishwar Mirza chose some of the most common characters. In her book, she utilized barnyard and woodland creatures to convey the joys and wonders of being a child. This proves that most children’s books veer toward using these characters than any other.
How authors decide what the characters will look like is entirely up to them. But the available choices don’t provide much variety. However, the characters’ behaviors are a completely different story.
Inspirations for Book Characters
Authors have limitless inspirations to take when it comes to the hows of the characters – how they behave, perceive the world, and generally present themselves. They can base their characters on famous figures, fictional characters, and even family members. Around them are various people from whom they can grab different personality traits to use on their characters.
For starters, below are some inspiring characters authors may base their next characters on:
Almost everybody knows Alice and has read about her adventures in Alice in Wonderland. She is a darling among literary characters, and it’s with ample reason. Alice embodies the bravery and curiosity parents would want their children to have. Though she ran into trouble, she succeeded in all of them with her cleverness and sensibility.
She is also a great symbol to inspire children to embrace their dreams, no matter how unconventional these are. When authors run out of traits to sketch their character with, they can create someone who isn’t afraid to follow their dreams.
Who would forget about the tiny and lively girl in the yellow dress? Despite being the smallest in her class, Madeline is famous for being the bravest among everyone else. She has showcased her endearing spunk and athleticism in various instances.
Having a character take these parts from Madeline’s personality can inspire children to develop leadership and take charge in different situations. Madeline is a well-liked character because of these characteristics and has helped children embrace their quirks during her heyday. Perhaps, it’s about time authors create characters sharing Madeline’s disposition, inspiring children to be courageous.
Hear this one out!
Game of Thrones might be a show only fitting for adults, but it’s perfectly fine to take inspiration from their characters for children’s books. Arya is a character in the show that has challenged gender rules. Who says girls should only be kept in the kitchen? Who’s to say men can’t thrive in the arts industry?
Writing a book after Arya’s principles is perfect for encouraging children to challenge societal norms. Additionally, children will be exposed to how dynamic gender expressions are with a character that doesn’t follow conventional standards. This can also encourage them to express themselves however they want to.
While Harry Potter was the show’s protagonist, Hermione still managed to catch people’s attention. She was well-known for her brilliance and wit. And despite being scorned in certain aspects, Hermione remained level-headed. Aside from her intellect, she’s also a symbol of fierceness and loyalty.
A character like Hermione in children’s books will be nothing short of an inspiration to young girls (and boys alike). Children will be shaped to stand firmly for justice and fairness, just like Hermione did. A character like her would also be a great inspiration for children to be studious. This makes her an excellent character for growing children.