Friday, 18 April 2014

Don't Give Me Any More Trouble.

Any more or anymore? What is the difference in North American usage?

Any more (two words) is an adjective phrase that means, any additional:
 The dragon didn't want any more onions added to his soup pot.
Anymore (one word) is an adverb that means, still, any longer, nowadays, and can be used in a negative or a positive sense:
      Negative sense:  Apparently, the king doesn't like onions anymore.
      Positive sense:  The royal councilman wanted to know if the dragon grew onions anymore. 

Another way to think about the distinction is: anymore is used to indicate time, any more indicates quantity or degree.

     The king doesn't like onions anymore  (any longer) because he doesn't want any more (any additional) embarrassing burping episodes in the royal court.

One more rule: when you follow with the preposition than, always use the adjective phrase any more.

     The royal councilman didn't appreciate the king's burbs any more than the king liked expelling them.

However, British English often identifies anymore as an alternative spelling for any more. So, depending where your kingdom is, the royal rules vary.                         

More on my dragon books for children:

copyright Diane Mae Robinson, 2014                                                                                                         


Saturday, 5 April 2014

Point Of View In Writing For Children

  • Point of view, or viewpoint, can be a confusing aspect of writing for many writers at the best of times. In writing for children, there are some stricter rules on the subject.

  • There are several different viewpoint techniques in writing, but in writing for children, the viewpoints that are acceptable in modern writing are limited to a few and the viewpoint in writing for younger children is always limited to only one character's point of view.

Children relate to the point of view character in the story, so making it clear who is telling the story at the beginning of your story is very important.

Viewpoint is basically divided into objective and subjective.


The objective narrator only reports what can be seen and heard, like a camera, and does not get inside the character's head to interpret any feelings or thoughts of the character. Young picture books are written in this style where the illustrations would show the emotions of the character. 


Subjective narrations is described as having all five senses through the character. This is the most common form of narrations in children book writing and is further divided into four categories:

First Person viewpoint

The viewpoint of the story is through the main character using their own words and the pronouns I, me, myself. First person viewpoint can be a straightforward telling of the story or in the form of a letter or diary.

This viewpoint gives a personal account of the main character's thoughts and feelings, whether right or wrong, and connects the reader quickly to the main character. The problem with first person viewpoint is the frequent use of the word "I", which can become intrusive.

First person narrative is best told in the present tense so that the reader feels the character is telling the story and not the writer. You must know your character very well and limit all thoughts and feelings to the character. 

This viewpoint is not usually used in books for younger children.

Third Person Limited Viewpoint

Third person viewpoint is similar to first person viewpoint in that the writer is inside the character's head. The story is told through the main character's senses using the pronouns he, she, they, etc. and the story is told by only showing the main character's experience--the main character must be in all scenes.

This viewpoint gives the feeling that the story is unfolding and not being told, as in first-person viewpoint. . Writing in this perspective allows the writer to keep their own prose style, and to interpret the character's behaiviour while still offering depth of emotion. Third person limited viewpoint is the most common form of writing children stories as it is the least obtrusive viewpoint; allowing the best reader involvement.

Third Person Multiple viewpoint

This viewpoint is written through more than one character's perspective. Either two or three (maximum) characters are relating the story through their thoughts, feelings and experiences. This type of viewpoint is used when writing for older readers. The different character's views are usually divided into different chapters or with page breaks so as not to confuse the reader.

The purpose for using third person multiple viewpoint would be to let the reader experience two different sides of the bigger picture within the story, and decide for himself which character is right if either of them are at all.

Third Person Omniscient

The narrator knows and sees all, like he is floating above the story in a Godlike manner; he sees all events, knows all the thoughts of all the characters, and can even look into the future.

This type of viewpoint is most often used in fables, fairy tales, and read-a-loud picture books.

Third person omniscient does tend to distance the reader from the story as the reader doesn't feel that he knows or cares about any one character better than the other.

There are several other points of views with variations and combinations used in writing, but when writing for children it is best to stick to the simpler point of views listed here.

When a child hears or reads a story and feels like they have experienced it along with the main character, then you have done your best writing.

Visit my author's website to view my adventure kids books at:
Illustrations by Samantha Kickingbird


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Radio Interview/Book Review by Renee Hand

Re-post from The Crypto-Capers Series Blog Spot, Renee Hand.  

Interview with Diane Robinson for The Pen Pieyu Adventures 

Come and join me as I talk with author Diane Mae Robinson about her picture/chapter book Sir Princess Petra's Talent on Stories From Unknown Authors 
Radio interview here:

Book Summary:

Sir Princess Petra has already proven she is a kind and noble knight. This, however, does not please the king and queen--they want her to behave like a princess and forget this silly knight nonsense of hers!

  • Paperback: 92 pages
  • Publisher: Tate Publishing (September 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1625106823
  • ISBN-13: 978-1625106827
Renee's Review:

Sir Princess Petra's Talent is a wonderfully inspiring story of acceptance and friendship. Children of all ages are going to love the author's humor as she shows how Petra's determination, acceptance of others, and kindness change a kingdom and break the rules of the closed mind thinkers. Petra as a knight is a unique and lively character that will assuredly capture the hearts of many.

Dragon books for children

Friday, 14 March 2014

Book Review: Elven Jewel

Elven Jewel by Kasper Beaumont
book 1

Cover paintings by Scott Patterson and Mae Mai Bidlake

  • Series: Hunters of Reloria
  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-1491294376

Book synopsis:  This fantasy adventure begins when the magical continent of Reloria is threatened by cruel, scaly invaders called Vergai from the wastelands of Vergash. These invaders are barbaric and are intent on destroying the protective elven forcefield and conquering peaceful Reloria. The Vergais’ plan is to steal the Elven Jewel which is the key to the Relorian defence system. Halfling friends Randir and Fendi and their bond-fairies are the first to discover the invaders and they embark on a quest to save the Elven Jewel. They leave their peaceful farm village with their fairies and race against time to stop the invaders. They join forces with dwarves, elves, men and a mysterious dragon, and call themselves the Hunters of Reloria. The quest is perilous, with numerous encounters with the ruthless Vergai, who are determined to fulfill their mission. The Elven Jewel is stolen and the quest becomes a race to the portal to retrieve the jewel before it can be taken to Vergash. A battle for Reloria ensues where the consequences for the Relorians is death, unless Vergai are stopped.

About the story: The story is a fantasy adventure about good versus evil. Four halflings, along with their bond fairies, set out to save their land, Reloria, from the evil Vergais (large, scaly creatures). There are also dwarfs, elves, knights and a dragon that team up with the halflings on their adventures to return the stolen Elven Jewel and, in turn, save their homeland.

What I thought: The story started out slow for me, but as I read more into the adventure and got closer to the characters, I couldn't help but become drawn into this fantasy world. This world is in some ways familiar to the reader, yet has its own uniqueness in the diverse, entertaining characters and plot to make it an original fantasy tale.

The characters are original, well-rounded, and believable. The reader comes away from the story with the sense that not all beings are evil, that their is hope for the future, that friendship is worth fighting for, that sometimes good can come out of adversity, and not to give up on what is important.

I always enjoy a good quest with mythical creatures, magic, elves, dwarfs, knights, a dragon, high action and dangerous adventures, and characters that run me through a gamut of emotions. This book has all of that and more. 


Kasper J. Beaumont was born and raised in Australia and lives a quiet life with the family in a seaside town. Kasper has combined a love of fantasy and a penchant for travel in the Hunters of Reloria trilogy. Kasper started to write on the urging of friends and family and enjoys watching readers become immersed in the magical world of Reloria. 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Categories Of Children Books

There are several different types of children book categories and sub-categories. The writing style and word count is different in each type of category. The following list is a general guideline of the categories, and these guidelines may vary by publisher.

Board books/ Toy books:  Ages newborn to 3 years. These books are for the youngest of listeners and are meant to engage their minds in learning with textures, pop ups, flaps, noise makers, and lively illustrations. The words in these books are more about the sound they make when spoken by the reader. These books can have one word or just a few words per page.

Toddler books/ Concept books: Ages 3 - 5 years. Introducing basic learning through shapes, colors, alphabets, animals, and people, these books have a stronger emphasis on the words than the previous category.  The images and interaction of the book are still the main focus for the child. These books average 200 - 300 words and are often in the form of the board book format.

Early picture books:  Ages 4 - 6 years. Often referred to as picture story books, these are books written to be read to preschool and kindergarten children. The words are still simple but more intriguing with their sounds.  The word count is between 200 - 1000 words with just a few lines per page and a simple plot. The color illustrations on every page are still the main focus for telling of the story. Pages vary as per content--usually less than 32 pages.

Picture books/Easy readers:  Ages 5 -7 years.  Early picture book are books written for children just starting to read on their own. These books have between 500- 1500 simple words (1000 words being the average) and have a stronger focus on an entertaining story through the story's action and dialogue. Color illustrations are still on every page or every other page. These books are usually 32 pages.

Early chapter books:  Age 6 - 9 or 7 - 10 years. The story is divided into chapter of 2 - 3 pages per chapter.  The plotting and characters become more complex than a picture book, but not too much that the child loses interest.  Theme and style of writing grab the child's attention. Most chapter books for this age group still include some illustrations, usually black and white, but not on every page. The word count can be up to 10,000 words and up to 65 pages.

Middle grade chapter books: Written for children 8 - 12 years of age, the characters and plotting of the story becomes more complex as the topics have a wider range and the writer has more leeway to include some narration and descriptive setting, introduce more characters, and add dramatic effects to the theme and style of writing.  Chapters are 3 -4 pages each with few illustrations or no illustrations. Kid get hooked on character at this stage of reading. Word count can be up to 20,000 words within 65 - 200 pages.

Young adult books: Often referred to as YA books or  juvenille novels, are written for readers 12 and up, 14 and up, and 17 - 18 years.Topics and language vary greatly. Most YA books have an adolescent protagonist where the focus is on plotting, character and setting, while theme and style often take second place. Plotting can have subplots with several major characters, although, one character should still emerge as the focus of the story. Harry Potter books are consider YA novels.

Whatever age group your intended audience, the main character of your story should be a little older than the intended audience.

Visit my author's website to learn more about my dragon books for children:

Friday, 14 February 2014

Free Teacher's Lesson Plan, Grade 4, L.A.

Award winning author, Diane Mae Robinson, has announced that a teacher's  

lesson plan (elementary language arts) is now availalble for 'Sir Princess Petra'. 

The lesson plan is available at no charge as a download from her website.


Teachers Lesson Plan (Elementary Language Arts)   

Now Available From Award Winning Children's Book

Author Diane Mae Robinson

Robinson's multi-award winning work, 'Sir Princess Petra', teaches children valuable life lessons 
through engaging fiction.  A no-cost teacher's lesson plan, developed by an elementary school
teacher, about the book is now available. The general outcome of the lesson plan: students
will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to explore thoughts, ideas, feelings and

Full News Release here:


Diane Mae Robinson

Teachers/Librarians page link:

Lesson plan link:'s_Lesson_Plan.pdf-


Friday, 31 January 2014

Lay vs. Lie

To lay or lie--most often a meddlesome question.

One of the most confusing verbs in the English language. If you look up "lay/lie" on the internet, you can find pages of discussions on the topic. 
What's with this three-letter word that has so many people scratching their heads? I think there are two reasons:                                                                                                                                      

          1. The word lay has two completely different meanings.         
          2. We use these verbs incorrectly in speech.
To get these verbs to work properly, there are only six words you need to remember, and if you remember them in order it will all be much clearer.
         - Lie, lay, lain                                                                                 

        - Lay, laid, laid
When you are not sure of when to use lie, think of your bed. Lie is something you do to yourself (well unless you are not telling the truth to someone else, but in this case we're talking about the verb lie as in reclining). I lie down, beside the dragon, today. I lay down, beside the dragon, yesterday. I had lain down, beside the dragon, every day this month.
Lay is something someone does to something else (this verb takes a direct object. Lie never does). Think of lay and think of a place.  The dragon lay the book on the bookshelf. The witch laid the book on the book shelf yesterday.  The magician had laid the book on the bookshelf every day this month.
Easy right? Just remember: "Lie, lay, lain." "Lay, laid, laid."
Illustrations by Samantha Kickingbird

Visit my author's website to learn more about my dragon books for children: