The Original Self-Publishing Books–or DIY Picture Books of Yesterday and Today

Long before self-publishing became such a controversy in the lives of aspiring authors, self-published books existed in multitudes! Kinda…

I remember, that as a child, I wanted to join the ranks of P. D. Eastman of “Go Dog Go!”,  to write and illustrate my own books. In addition to author/illustrators books, straight-forward titles like these captured my attention:

Syd Hoff Shows You How To Draw Cartoons Book Photo for Reverie of a Picture Book

Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t the most celebrated student artist of my classrooms; the art instructions only led me a short distance in progress. Even as early as nursery school, though, DIY Books were a wonderful way to capture a chapter of life.

Nursery School Book for Reverie of a Picture Book

Mrs. Broege and Mrs. Glass, my nursery school teachers, got illustrations from most of my class for a birthday book– just for 4-year-old me! Here is just one of the lovely illustrations and accompanied text.

In first grade, I remember we were to dictate to a journal. For homework, my mother would write down the stories that I told her.

First Grade Smurfs for Reverie of a Picture Book

Smurfs and slavery? In first grade, it works. Here is a mimeographed story that must have been shared with the class, and theirs with me. Circa 1981?

If you haven’t kept any of your elementary school work, or incorporated any of these ideas, no worries. Even a simple photo book like this can celebrate a life event. We put some of M’s baptism photos in this. She loves identifying different family members able to celebrate with her!

Baby M Book Photo for Reverie of a Picture Book

 Hopefully, DIY self-published books of children are never a forgotten option for reading enjoyment. Technology easily speeds up our entertainment, but there is nothing like these old-fashioned ways of recording a child’s impressions of the world. May any of those memories of yesterday inspire us to support and encourage little readers and writers of today.




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