…a good picture book must ring with emotional content, so that the children care about what’s going on. Otherwise they will fall asleep. William Steig’s Amos and Boris and Sylvester and the Magic Pebble never fail to overwhelm a reader with both worry and love. They can’t be put down; they work beautifully every time. What is in them is in all of us: guilt, fear, devotion. As a writer you have little time and few pages to achieve this. The characters in a children’s book must reach into the heart of the reader on page one. Emotional content is the main reason a child and a parent will go back to a book again and again.
~ p. 129, 130. Rosemary Wells, “The Well-Tempered Children’s Book”, The Art and Craft of Writing for Children