Bach’s melodies — to me the most beautiful melodies in music — emerge from a tightly constructed foundation. Some people find them cold because of their perfection. But all fine works of music, dance, painting and literature are born not from vague inspiration but — as I see it in my mind’s eye — from a design as clean and spare as a house frame of New Hampshire birch. Children’s picture books are a short literary form like the sonnet. The soundness of their structure is therefore crucial — more important than in longer and more leisurely  forms of writing.

Children’s author Rosemary Wells

The Well-Tempered Children’s Book

Essay published in Worlds of Childhood: The Art and Craft of Writing for Children

edited by William Zinsser