Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 26, 2020

Picture to Picture Book Story Idea Dr. MiraResiberg Ideas for Victoria Marble

Hi Victoria, I’m so delighted that you’re my official first From Picture to Picture Book Story candidate. Let me start by saying that I love your art, so I’m going to start with your art before giving you an possible idea for a picture book suited to your talents. I try and remember to preface things with “take what you like from and leave the rest” so that you can feel free to use this idea, adapt it, or do whatever you like with it.

Now I’m a bit of a gentle pushy gal and I always try and push the people I work with to be the very best that they can be, so please don’t be discouraged by anything that I say in these quick and dirty tweaks. I’m a bit worried about a couple of thing in this image. Whenever you can, try and have images face to the right so they lead the viewer forward for that all important page turn. The next thing is, unless your little fox is blind, and that’s part of the story, the eyes are a little off putting because we aren’t able to connect with him/her/it through their eyes (AKA the window to the soul). So in the second image I flipped little fox to guide the reader and added bigger eyes. Then on the 3rd one, I tilted his/her/its head a little and removed the extra bulrushes to create a little more visual interest and mystery as to what he’s going into. Based on my story idea I’d like to see more of that night sky coming in. Oh and I tweaked one of the legs to read a little better. I love getting critiques of my own work because it’s so hard to see your own stuff objectively. I hope you feel the same way and find these suggestions helpful.

And now for my sweet story idea for you.


When Little Fox set off to find his first special friend, he made sure he had his favorite foods and clean pajamas wrapped carefully in his knapsack, and a lantern to light the way.


But as soon as he crossed the bridge, things started getting scary.


Gets lost in scary forest and the whooshing of the wind and strange sounds scare him but then he sees it’s a young owl making the noise. Little Fox thinks the owl is spooky and runs deeper into the forest.

Sees scary bats and thinks them spooky too. Then he watches them dance and play and realizes bats aren’t so scary after all. He asks one to be his special friend. Bat says, “I can be your friend, but I can’t be your special friend. You’re too big.”

Sees scary bear – big and fierce looking but when bear stubs his toe and cries, Little Fox realizes he’s not so scary and asks him to be his special friend. Bear says I’m happy to be your friend but I can’t be your special friend. I already have a special friend.

Then Little Fox hears the whooshing sound again and looks up to see how beautiful owl is. When Owl asks him if he’s OK, Little Fox asks her to be his special friend.


And surprisingly Owl says, “Yes. I’ve been looking for a special friend for quite a while.” Then Owl says, “One of the best things a friend can do is help little lost foxes find their way home. Their mommies and daddies are probably worried and missing them.


Little Fox is relieved and excited to have a special friend. The two cross back over the bridge together and Little Fox’s Mom and Dad are waiting with their own lantern, arms outstretched.

PAGE TURN – Little Fox and Owl playing together with Mom and Dad watching on.

You could pace it out by having Little Fox get hungry and stop for dinner and get more and more lost. And he gets tired and puts on his pajamas to take a nap. You could also change out the reasons the others cant be his special friend or anything else. You could call it Little Fox Gets Lost and it would be a very sweet story with tons of great illustration opportunities. The underlying theme of this is that things aren’t always what they seem.

This is a very rough suggestion but I think with your artwork it could be really exquisite. I hope you can join awesome acquiring kidlit agent Allison Remcheck and me in our Craft and Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books course so we can help you flesh this or any other ideas out to make your story much more marketable, meaningful and/or fun. Right now, we have a wonderful $100 discount with this code #CBWPB20 and this link:

Victoria Marble’s Bio:

Victoria Marble is an illustrator specializing in character & narrative design, with a particular emphasis on children, animals, insects, & floral designs. 


“I have loved to draw, read, and write my entire life. Fables, fairytales, film, animation- the art of storytelling in all of its forms- has always fascinated me (I have a very wide and varied set of favorite movies, books, cartoons, and games, which could easily fill an entirely separate page), and I have always dreamed of sharing characters and places I’ve invented with anyone who would be moved, inspired, or educated by them. I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t carrying a sketchbook with me.”

Victoria’s love for drawing led her to pursue a well-rounded artistic background with courses completed in a wide range of concepts and media, including drawing and composition, figure drawing, painting, illustration, multimedia, and game design. She holds a general studies associate of arts degree with an emphasis on arts & humanities, as well as an associate of science in electronic game art & design. She became an executive board member of the Simi Valley Art Association at the beginning of 2015, where she quickly gained local recognition for her uniquely stylized pen-and-ink illustrations. Victoria helps edit and coordinate the association’s monthly newsletter in addition to attending meetings and art demos, and participating in art shows, galleries, and contests. Her work in the association has won various awards.

Victoria lives in Southern California with her husband and daughter, and three little dogs. When not drawing, reading or writing, Victoria enjoys watching movies with her daughter, eating dessert, and drinking coffee or tea. She is a fan of traditional animation, the Great Gatsby and the roaring twenties, and Audrey Hepburn films.

Victoria adores creating art that emphasizes the beauty of nature- and particularly birds, fish, insects, and floral designs, along with cute children and animal characters.

Victoria’s first books, Baum’s Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Tux in the Zoo by Diana Aleksandrova were published by MacLaren-Cochrane in 2019 and 2020 respectively. As a member of SCBWI, Victoria has participated in critique groups, Sketch Crawls, the Ventura County regional chapter Traveling Sketchbook, and the monthly DrawThis! challenge.

Thank you Mira, for your thoughts with Victoria and us. Good job.

If you have an illustration you would like to explore picture book ideas, please send in one illustration to kathy(dot)Temean(at) I will send them to Mira. This is one small way Mira helps her illustration students and others who might need help with ideas during The Craft & Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books e-course at the Children’s Book Academy.

About Dr. Mira Reisberg:

Dr. Mira Reisberg has a PhD in Education and Cultural Studies with a focus on children’s literature. She is an acquiring Editor and Art Director at Clearfork/Spork and is also the Director of the Children’s Book Academy. Her students have published over 370 books and won ever major North American award. Mira’s 8 published children’s books have won awards and sold over 600,000 copies. She lives in a 100 year-old house in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two cats.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. So cool seeing your mind at work, Mira, thanks for the fun feature, Kathy


  2. I love this, Mira. Your creative mind is amazing. This helps me become more skilled at structuring my own stories.


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