I hate to admit this, but as usual, I can't help it. It irritates me when I read a children's book where it's so obvious that the author did not do their homework before writing the story. There's no plot, there's no conflict and most of all, there's no story going on. I recently read one that left me saying to myself, "So? Big deal, the kid took a bath!" And trust me, that is completely all the story is about. And I don't believe a traditional publisher would have ever given it a second look. I have nothing against self-publishing, heck I'm getting ready to release one Sept. 1, but it's books like the one I just read, that give self-publishing a bad rap. It wasn't well thought out and to be blunt, only a 1 yr. old would like it.
The illustrations in the book I mentioned are beautiful, otherwise this would not be a book. I do believe that good illustrations are vital to a good picture book, however a good story is even more important. The story needs to capture a child's imagination. They need their "giggly" side to come out once in awhile. And they need to learn something or at least have a reason to want it read to them again and again.
I'm not trying to say that all my stories are perfect, that they capture everything they should, but I sure give them my best try and I've done my homework. We should all take pride in what we write and make sure there's some substance, even in a children's book.
Do you find that you get irritated when you read a book and are left thinking, "So what!!?"