The reason I believe critique groups are invaluable... necessary is because these are other authors and/or illustrators who are wanting to improve their own knowledge of the industry and craft, who are working on sharpening their own skills. They're well suited to help you develop your story to reach the masses, whereas a consumer (my friends and family) may only be asking, "Do I like it?" A critique group member is looking at each word selection, the tempo of your rhyme, the color of your main character's shirt on this foggy day in the woods. I think critique groups are to writers what small groups are to church members - a way to know the material deeper and apply it better with much-needed accountability.
"If a child never sees himself in media, he can feel invisible, forgotten, like people don’t care about him or don’t want to know about him. If he never sees other characters who look and talk and walk like him defeating the dragons and becoming the hero, maybe he’s less likely to think he can do it. After all, kids learn through modeling. Stories show children what’s possible." Let's explore why representation in books matters and what to do about it.
That Orange Chair, next to her stack of books piled high,
which lasted but a little while.
For Gma loved to read and read,
to consume books really.
Which led us to the bookstore,
getting lost for hours in wistful wonder,
i.e., picking up more books than we put back down,
sheepishly giggling at the checkout counter...
"Don't tell us the total!" ...