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Richard Thake: Fun writing is fun reading

In honour of the December 25 broadcast of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" with WireTap's Jonathan Goldstein, we're devoting ourselves to Canadian children's authors and other Seussian surprises here at Canada Writes.

Here, the author of the Sir Seth Thistlethwaite series shares his top two techniques when writing for kids.

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"Kids love rhymes, they do, they do ...
Dr. Seuss sure knows they do!
So if kiddie books is what you do,
Rhymes will sell your books for you!
And you. And you. And you and you
and you!

Over the last four years, I have had volumes of feedback from the Sir Seth Thistlethwaite series I wrote and everyone says pretty much the same thing ... the rhymes make reading fun. (Tip: Buy a rhyming dictionary.) 

And so do the tongue twisters. Because they are involving. Also fun and involving are the 'audience participation' asides such as 'Before Sir Seth could say TOY BOAT five times fast...'

Try it. Try saying TOY BOAT fives times fast. Betcha can’t do it. For no apparent reason, it’s one of those seemingly harmless phrases that doesn’t appear to be a tongue tangler—until you try to say it.

Basically, I’ve found if you’re having fun writing the words, the fun is automatically passed on to the reader. When I’m writing, I’m having just as much fun as I hope the readers will have reading it."

Richard Thake comes to children's publishing as a veteran of the advertising business; he was an Associate Creative Director of one of Canada’s largest advertising agencies. A father of three grown children and a grandfather of three, he has finally found the time to write the Sir Seth series—a thinly disguised glimpse into his own “theater of the mind” childhood adventures with his friends in the Don River Valley and The Beach areas of Toronto. He lives in Newcastle, ON.

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