May 18, 2021-Today we’re talking about a subject that I absolutely love adding to my children’s books when I write them and when I make notes/suggestions for the illustrator. I’m talking about Easter Eggs, not the chocolate kind (I love that kind too)! Let’s take a closer look.
Easter eggs are metaphorical; they can be symbols or messages hidden within your book that can connect your author works, be used as a branding tool, or foreshadow something in upcoming books. Easter eggs are meant to be fun! We use pandas throughout ninety percent of our kids’ book collection because it’s our brand. Young readers will find a stuffed panda on a character’s bed, or a shelf, or on a piece of clothing, or even as a Christmas tree ornament! This also serves as weaving our books together through many titles and authors.
Another way we use Easter eggs in our books is to announce upcoming titles; we did this in Panda the Very Bad Cat; if you look at the bookshelf scene, you’ll see a piece of paper floating to the floor that says Panda 2 Coming Soon! It’s subtle, and most people miss it until they do a couple of read-throughs.
Here are some fun ways that you can add Easter eggs to your children’s picture book:
- Cross over a character. Let’s say that you’ve written a brand new book that features a dog and you had a previous series of books that feature cats, be sure to include one of the cats from your other books either hidden away or in plain sight for the reader to find. When they pick up your collection,, they’ll make the connection!
- Hide an object. In our book Miranda the Very LOUD Mouse, illustrated by Erin Cutler, we hid pieces of cheese on every page for the kids to find. We get so many comments from our readers about how much they love looking for it! It adds an element of interaction.
- Make an announcement. Announce your next book, a new character, or a new series! This is an entertaining way to let readers in on your secret of releasing a new book.
Think of how much fun it would be for readers to stumble across Easter eggs in your books. It’s a fun feature that keeps them wanting more and excited to own the books in your whole series!
For more information on how to write for kids, check out our master class here: Children’s Book Writing Master Class – Pandamonium Publishing House