I can't see to post on the group page...
Anyway, I was wondering if you could look over my picture book story and give me some feedback?
The background to this story is that I developed it on the course with Pippa Goodhart who is amazing. Another editor has also seen it and given me some feedback. I'm at the fine-tuning stage to check if it's working or it needs something extra. The word count should ideally be between 500-900 words... but can be a smidge more or less but the pictures really need to shine to make the text come alive.
Any feedback would be great, and you said you have children so are used to reading picture books.
A GARLAND FOR NANI.
Page numbers and illustrations are in capitals.
Word count : 704
INTISAR’S MUM IS SHOWN STANDING AT THE FOOT OF THE STAIRS WITH GLASSES AND HER HAIR IN A PLAIT WEARING TRADITIONAL ASIAN CLOTHES WITH HER COAT ON. WE SEE THE STAIRS, AND ON TOP OF THE LANDING, WE SEE INTISAR WITH HER HAIR IN BUNCHES STANDING BEHIND THE BANNISTERS.
‘Intisar! Come downstairs and get your coat,’ Intisar’s mum called out.
‘Yay!’ Intisar yelled and raced down the stairs.
INTISAR’S MUM HELPS HER PUT ON HER COAT.
‘We’re meeting Karimah and her mum at the bus stop, ‘Intisar’s mum said.
‘Great,’ Intisar replied. She always liked seeing her friend Karimah.
‘Are we going on the bus?’ she asked.
‘Yes,’ her mum replied. ‘We are going to the market, but we will not be too long, as Nani is coming to the house for her birthday tea.’
WE SEE THE BACKS OF INTISAR AND HER MUM HOLDING HER HAND AS THEY WALK UP THE ROAD. WE CAN SEE THE BUS STOP IN THE DISTANCE. IT’S A BUSY ROAD WITH CARS PARKED AND TERRACED HOUSES. THERE ARE PEOPLE WALKING UP AND DOWN THE ROAD.
‘Can we go to the flower shop to buy Nani flowers with my pocket money?’’ Intisar asked.
‘We have already got Nani a present,’ her mum said. ‘But if we have time, we can go to the flower shop. We have to go to the fabric shop first because I didn’t get enough material to make my outfit for your Auntie’s wedding.’
WE SEE THE FRONT OF INTISAR AND HER MUM. INTISAR LOOKS UNHAPPY WITH A GRIMACE, AND HER MUM IS SMILING.
Oh, no! Intisar thought. Their mums took ages and ages in the fabric shop. It felt like forever.
WE SEE A BUS STOP AND INTISAR AND HER MUM WAVE AT THEIR FRIENDS. KARIMAH’S MUM IS JOLLY LOOKING WITH CURLY HAIR, AND KARIMAH HAS A BLUNT FRINGE WITH A BLACK BOWL CUT BOB. THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE AT THE BUS STOP. PRAMS, A BOY LISTENING TO HIS HEADPHONES ETC
DOUBLE SPREAD OF THE GIRLS SITTING IN THE BUS LOOKING OUT OF THE WINDOW SMILING. YOU CAN SEE THEIR MUMS SITTING IN THE BACKGROUND. WE SEE OTHER PEOPLE SITTING IN THE BUS, THE BUS DRIVER IN THE FRONT. IT'S A BUSY ROAD WITH SHOPS, CARS AND PEOPLE OF ALL AGES AND RACES WALKING BACK AND FORTH. GIVES AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS THE DETAILS ON THE PAGE.
DOUBLE SPREAD OF AN INDOOR MARKET WITH SHOPS. ON PAGE 7, FAR LEFT WE SEE THE FABRIC SHOP WITH MANNEQUINS AND MATERIAL. ON PAGE 8, FAR RIGHT WE SEE THE FLOWER SHOP. THE MIDDLE SECTIONS ARE VARIOUS STALLS WITH LITTLE DETAILS OF PEOPLE BUYING THINGS ETC. WE SEE THE MUMS WALKING PURPOSEFULLY TOWARDS THE FABRIC SHOP AND HOLDING THE GIRL'S HANDS. INTISAR LOOKS BACKWARDS AT THE FLOWER SHOP.
PAGE 9, 10
DOUBLE SPREAD OF THE FABRIC SHOP. BRIGHT AND COLOURFUL. PAGE 10, FAR RIGHT WE SEE THE COUNTER WITH TWO SHOPKEEPERS BEHIND IT. SHOP ASSISTANT IN THE DISTANCE. SHOPKEEPERS CAN HAVE MEASURING TAPES AROUND THEIR NECKS. THE MUMS ARE WALKING TOWARDS THE COUNTER. THE SCRAP BOX IS ON THE FLOOR. THERE ARE LARGE, LONG ROLLS BEHIND AND ON THE COUNTER. THE SHOP IS FILLED WITH STANDS AND ROWS OF MATERIAL OF ALL COLOURS AND TYPES AND PATTERNS. WE SEE INTISAR AND KARIMAH TRAILING THEIR HANDS THROUGH MATERIAL IN THE FRONT STANDS.
Intisar liked the smell of the fabric shop. It smelt like new material, kitchen spices and perfume. It was also very colourful, like a rainbow explosion.
Intisar and Karimah played a game called, “which material do you like best?” when they visited the fabric shop.
INTISAR HOLDING OUT MATERIAL WITH FLOWERS ON IT AND SMILING. THOUGHT BUBBLE OVER HER HEAD WITH HER GIVING FLOWERS TO NANI.
‘I like this one,’ Intisar said.
KARIMAH HOLDING OUT A GREEN ONE WITH GLITTER SWIRLS ON IT AND SMILING. INTISAR WITH A BUBBLE OVER HER HEAD WITH A FLOWER WITH GREEN LEAVES.
‘I like this one,’ Karimah said.
THREE LONG PORTRAIT TILES.
INTISAR SMILING WITH PINK MATERIAL DRAPED OVER HER SHOULDER LIKE A SAREE, AND KARIMAH IS BY HER SIDE WITH HANDS ON HER MOUTH GIGGLING. THEY ARE SURROUNDED BY STANDS AND A MIRROR TO THE SIDE.
KARIMAH SMILING WITH A YELLOW SCARF OVER HER HEAD AND INTISAR IS STANDING BY HER SIDE WITH HER HANDS TO HER MOUTH, GIGGLING.
INTISAR AND KARIMAH BOTH STANDING SIDE BY SIDE SMILING WITH SOFT MATERIAL AROUND THEIR NECK LIKE A SCARF. INTISAR HAS HERS WRAPPED LIKE HER MUM, WITH ONE LONG END TRAILING IN THE FRONT AND ONE IN THE BACK. KARIMAH IS WEARING IT LIKE HER MUM WHERE IT’S WRAPPED AGAINST HER NECK BUT WITH BOTH LONG ENDS TRAILING BEHIND HER BACK. THE BACK OF SHOP ASSISTANT IS SEEN IN THE CORNER.
Suddenly, the shop assistant appeared…
A FEMALE SHOP ASSISTANT WEARING ASIAN CLOTHES LOOKS CROSS AND INTISAR, AND KARIMAH LOOK UNHAPPY AS THEY PUT BACK THE FABRIC IN THE HANGERS.
‘Girls, be careful. You shouldn't touch the material. You might make a mark on it.’
The girls hurriedly put away the fabric.
They waited for the shop assistant to walk away.
BOX OF FABRIC ROLLS
They started to look at the rolls of fabric, standing in a box.
INTISAR LIFTING OUT A ROLL OF FLOWERED FABRIC FROM A BOX. KARIMAH IS STANDING BY HER SIDE.
‘I can get Nani flowers like this,’ Intisar said, lifting out a roll of fabric.
It was heavier than it looked.
INTISAR STUMBLING OVER THE ROLL WHICH HAS FALLEN ON THE FLOOR TRAILING OUT MATERIAL. HER LEG IS CAUGHT, AND BOTH HANDS ARE FLYING OUT. KARIMAH IS STANDING BY HER SIDE GIGGLING.
She dropped it on the floor and...
Stumbled over the material.
Suddenly, the shop assistant appeared…
THE SHOP ASSISTANT IS LOOKING CROSS, AND THE GIRLS ARE HOLDING THE ROLL, ABOUT TO PUT IT BACK IN THE BOX. THEY LOOK UNHAPPY.
‘Girls, be careful. You shouldn't touch that.’
The girls hurriedly put the roll back.
They walked back to their mums by the counter.
INTISAR AND KARIMAH LOOKING UNHAPPY TUGGING AT THEIR MUMS COATS.
They tugged at their mum's coats.
INTISAR AND KARIMAH TUGGING AT THEIR MUMS HANDS
They tugged at their mum's hands.
THE GIRLS LOOKING UNHAPPY TALKING TO THEIR MUMS.
‘We’ve been here for ages!’ the girls cried out.
‘I want to get flowers for Nani!’ Intisar said.
‘Ten more minutes,’ their mums replied.
THE MUMS ARE STANDING WITH THEIR BACKS SHOWING BY THE COUNTER. THE BOX OF SCRAP MATERIAL IS ON THE FLOOR BY THE COUNTER. THE GIRLS ARE SITTING ON THE FLOOR BY THE STANDS WITH HANDS UP AGAINST THEIR FACES LOOKING UNHAPPY.
THE GIRLS ARE HIDDEN BEHIND LONG SAREES, AND ONLY THEIR KNEES AND SHOES ARE VISIBLE.
The girls saw a box on the floor which had brightly coloured scrap material. Intisar picked it up, and Karimah giggled.
Nobody was looking, and the girls took the box and hid behind a long row of sarees.
LOOKS LIKE A TENT OF SAREES AS THE GIRLS ARE SITTING WITH THE BOX BETWEEN THEM. THEY ARE REACHING IN THE BOX HOLDING MATERIAL, AND THEIR OTHER HAND HAS A LONG PIECE OF FABRIC WITH LONG STRANDS OF MATERIAL TIED TO IT.
They looked through the box. There were lots of different types of fabric.
‘We can tie the colours we like on the long pieces,’ Intisar said to Karimah.
THREE FABRIC GARLANDS SHOWN WITH DIFFERENT MATERIAL STRANDS.
THE SHOPKEEPERS ARE ON THE RIGHT BEHIND THE COUNTER. THE MUMS ARE STANDING IN THE FRONT WITH THEIR SHOPPING BAGS. THE SHOP ASSISTANT LOOKS ANNOYED AS SHE TAKES THE BOX FROM INTISAR’S HANDS. KARIMAH IS COMING OUT FROM THE HIDING SPACE LOOKING WORRIED.
Intisar’s mum said, ‘girls, come out. We’re done.’
Intisar and Karimah came out. Intisar held the box in her hands.
‘I’ll take that, thank you,’ the shop assistant said and took the box from Intisar.
THE SHOP ASSISTANT IS BY THE COUNTER WITH THE BOX AND HOLDING UP THREE FABRIC GARLANDS. THE GIRLS ARE STANDING WITH THEIR BACKS SHOWING, LOOKING UP AT HER.
She looked inside the box and took out their fabric garlands.
‘We made one for you,’ Intisar said quickly.
The shop assistant suddenly smiled.
‘Thank you,’ she said. ‘This is lovely, using the scrap material to make a pretty fabric garland.
She looked at the box.
‘I have an idea,’ she said.
She took out a big, felt tip marker and wrote on the box. She turned it around to show them.
A CARDBOARD BOX WITH STRIPS OF MATERIAL INSIDE IT AND WITH BLACK HAND WRITTEN WORDS ‘’CHILDREN'S PLAY BOX’’.
THE SHOP ASSISTANT GIVING BACK THE GARLANDS TO THE GIRLS. THEY ARE SMILING.
She gave back two garlands.
HANDS GIVING MATERIAL STRIPS OVER THE COUNTER AS THE GIRLS REACH UP. THEIR OTHER HAND IS HOLDING A GARLAND.
The shopkeeper reached behind the counter and held out pieces of fabric.
‘Your mums have just bought these materials. Here are some more pieces you can play with.’
THE GIRLS WAVE GOODBYE TO THE SHOPKEEPERS AND ASSISTANT AS THEIR MUMS WALK TOWARDS THE DOOR. THEY ARE HOLDING THEIR GARLANDS.
MARKET SCENE AND THE FLOWER SHOP IS SHUT. INTISAR IS SEEN CRYING AS HER MUM BENDS DOWN TO SOOTHE HER.
Once they were outside, Intisar’s mum said, ‘Sorry, the flower shop is closed.’
Intisar burst into tears.
INTISAR LOOKS AT HER GARLAND AND SMILES. THE OTHERS ARE STANDING BY HER AND SMILING.
She looked at her fabric, garland, ‘maybe I can give Nani my garland, and she can help make another one.’
‘That’s a wonderful idea,’ her mum said.
INTISAR EMBRACING AND SHOWING THE GARLAND TO HER NANI. NANI IS WEARING TRADITIONAL ASIAN CLOTHES WITH A LOOSE SCARF OVER HER HEAD. INTISAR’S MUM, KARIMAH AND HER MUM ARE STANDING IN THE BACKGROUND.
Nani arrived at the house when they got home, and Intisar gave her a big hug.
‘Look what I made,’ she said, holding the garland for Nani to see.
‘That’s very pretty,’ Nani said.
‘I was going to get you flowers, but we didn’t have time. Can I give you this as a present, and we can make another one together?’ Intisar asked.
‘Yes, I would love it as a present.’ Nani smiled. ‘It is better than flowers because you made it and we can have fun making a new one together!’
INTISAR, KARIMAH AND NANI MAKING A NEW GARLAND TOGETHER.