A copywriting lesson from a children’s book

This entry was posted on Friday, May 10th, 2013 at 11:15 AM

I bought the most beautiful book the other day – ‘On a Beam of Light – A Story of Albert Einstein’. It’s by Jennifer Berne  with pictures by Vladimir Radunksy.

It’s that lovely combination of just the right words set against gorgeous illustrations that make the best children’s books so enchanting and memorable.

On a Beam of Light tells the story of Einstein’s life from a small child who didn’t speak until he was two or three, to the genius we all think of when we hear his name.

Jennifer Berne read 50 books about Einstein to research this story. She’s somehow managed to distil all that material (some of which most have been pretty heavy going) into around 48 pages. And yet she has still captured the essence of the man, how he saw the world, and what he achieved.

Beautifully and simply written, it’s a master class in writing economic but entertaining copy, aimed at a particular audience. I wasn’t surprised to discover Berne is a former advertising copywriter. She says it was, “a great way to learn how to get into people’s minds and write short, focused, purposeful and entertaining pieces – in one-page and 30-second formats.”

Experts always hold up The Sun (newspaper that is. The sun would be rather hot and a bit too big to hold) as the best example of choosing the right words and style to draw in your audience.

While I understand where they’re coming from, I just can’t bring myself to have anything to do with it for oh so many reasons.

I’d much rather look to examples such as ‘On a Beam of Light’ that do a splendid job. And respect their audience.

Give yourself a treat – go out and buy it!

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Albert Einstein.




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Hello. I'm Elaine, I'm a copywriter and this is my blog.

It's mostly about words and writing - things that inspire me, entertain me, and make me smile. Sometimes it's about things that horrify me so much I want to scream and shout!

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