Download Free Teaching Guides & Learn About Storyboards

Learn about sled dogs, ice palaces, and fun art projects to do at school or home!

Buy the book, Alaska’s Snow White and Her Seven Sled Dogs

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…animal tracking, coyote facts, storyboarding and try coyote and star art projects.

Buy the book, Coyote In Love available in paperback, Kindle, Nook and limited hard cover editions.

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… new words, life in Alaska, the cycle of salmon, wildflowers, how to write fairy tales, cooking projects, art and more. Common Core (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1-10) activities for kindergarten, first grade and second grade.

Buy the book, Alaska’s Sleeping Beauty

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Storyboardsclick on image to see full size

Dan Yaccarino/author/illustrator says, “The images in a picture book are the driving forces that tell the story. The words tell only what the pictures can’t.”

For me, storyboarding is the best part of creating a children’s book. It is time to imagine words in pictures. It is to see the story, develop the pacing and fit it into a 32 page space. As an author, I let pictures inform words until I arrive at a story. As an illustrator, I’m always looking for a way to show something that the words cannot.

To begin, I read the manuscript, and draw a line after each scene where I feel a natural breath or a pause, and break the text into little chunks of action. Something should HAPPEN on each spread. Telling the story with stick figures, gestures and scenes, allows the thumbnail drawings to show me the shape of the story. Then I balance the text from one page to the next, not too much or not too little depending on the pace of the story. If you are the author and the illustrator, this is where you might find your changes. If you are illustrating someone else’s manuscript, you must problem solve your layout to fit the words and the number of pages allowed.

Here is one of the first storyboards for Aurora, A Tale of the Northern Lights. I used a horizontal layout to create the vast picture space of the wide open tundra. I fell in love with double spreads and full bleed as a way to further expand that picture plane.

Quilt of Dreams storyboard

Quilt of Dreams revised storyboard1

Quilt of Dreams storyboard revised2

Kayak Girl storyboard

Willawaw storyboard


Next Step: The Dummy

I draw up the thumbnails into about a quarter size of the finished book, expand on the compositions, check for imagery that might fall into the gutter, and let the details and continuity evolve. In this page turning phase I problem-solve, and discover how the storyboard actually works as a book.


see the book dummy for Coyote In Love








see the book dummy for Kayak Girl, written by Monica Devine