Last night, after I turned off the light, titles lurked in the dark, sparking my mind with ideas! For some reason, Captain Kangaroo came to mind, followed by Captain Underpants. (Do other children’s writers think this way while snuggled into bed, sleepy from a fun day filled with small grandchildren?)
Captain Kangaroo is not a book title, that I know of. The television series ran for over 30 years with characters such as Captain Kangaroo (named because of the big pockets on his jacket), Mr. Moose, Mr. Green Jeans, Mr. Bunny Rabbit, Dancing Bear, and Grandfather Clock. There were others, too, but back to what I was getting at…the title–though it was a TV series–is catchy. Captain Underpants is also catchy, especially to kids, I might add.
Sometimes, when I can’t think of one thing to write about, I start jotting down catchy titles in one of my many notebooks I randomly keep around the house. Not titles that are already actual titles (that I’m aware of), but my own creations. At least I’m writing, right? And if I’m lucky, one of those titles might trigger a story or poem!
After working in public and school libraries for about twenty years, and ordering hundreds of books, it was usually the titles which attracted me first, and inspired me to read the summary and reviews. The book covers don’t hurt either, but since I’m a writer, I’m into titles.
Titles with alliteration, such as Mr. Popper’s Penguins are fun to say and easy to remember.
Rhyming titles are catchy, too, such as Cat in the Hat.
Titles that semi-shock parents but cause children to practically roll on the floor laughing, like Walter the Farting Dog are also… unforgettable.
Depending on the age group, titles vary. But keep one question in mind before titling a book: What book titles stand out in your childhood, or your children’s?
Titles don’t have to include alliteration or rhyme or raise your eyebrows to be memorable. Intriguing titles lure children (and adults!) into reading, also. The Secret Garden swept me away into the life of a spoiled little orphaned girl named Mary who discovers a walled-up, overgrown garden her uncle has kept locked up for ten years. And isn’t that a cry she hears in the large, old house? Or the wind, as the maids insist? Very intriguing, indeed.
I would love to hear about your favorite children’s title(s) and/or book(s) and what it is about them that keeps them unforgettable.