Maple Lam said to do thumbnails of entire mentor text on one sheet and look at whole piece. Have you tried that, Carrie and if you did, did you see how the piece worked?
I use thumbnailing to assist me with my own manuscripts, Kaye, but I have yet to try that with a mentor text. Instead, I sometimes type up the entire mentor text, taking time to explain in words what each illustration shows and how it interplays with the text. Although I do think visually, my thumbnails are not able to relay the same beauty, feeling, and detail that is shown in the illustration. I can get more detail by relaying it in words, and this immediately sparks the visual picture I have saved in my mind.
I used this technique while studying A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea by Michael Ian Black. I chose to study this book to help me master persuasion in manuscript I was working on at the time.
Pages 10-11 [Normal sloppy, realistic looking pig illo mostly on p 11 with gray shadow shading coming into p 10- white space on p 10 w text]
“The only problem is, a pig parade is a terrible idea.”
Pages 26-27 [full spread of pigs gathered around hay and record player feeling sad. First line of text on 26, rest on 27]
“No they will not. They will play sad, sad country music ballads with titles like, “My Tears Are Wet ‘Cause My Mud’s Gone Dry” and “I just Wanna Plop into This Bucket of Slop.” That kind of music is fine for slow dancing at hoedowns, but is not appropriate for a parade.”
If you would like to try thumbnailing instead, check out THIS POST by Pam Brunskill over at Marcie Atkin’s blog. Pam uses text vs. pictures, as well, but in a thumbnail layout.
So, what works for you? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks!
While you search for an agent and yourself as a writer, consider THIS POST from Writers Rumpus (and Yours Truly):
Marcie Flinchum Atkins Petite ReviMo post was brimming with awesome mentor texts!
How about an author study of Karen Beaumont’s work? Linda Ashman did an awesome post on Karen’s musically versed, humorous picture books as mentor texts!