I heard a rumor that when an editor is considering an ABC book, they turn to "X" first. Why? Because "X" is by far the hardest to letter to make interesting.
X makes a writer stretch. If the X page is just another "X-ray" or "Xylophone" then the editor will be inclined to pass. Likewise, "X marks the Spot" pages (like the one pictured to the left), sometimes feel like a cop out.
Some have made up words that start with X, while others have Xavier stand in for that difficult letter. I've even seen every word start with a letter except X. I get to the X page, and a fox is sitting on a box. Please be consistent people!
Don't get me wrong, though. Many writers have found creative ways to say "there's no X in my themed ABC book" but you really have to do it well.
The really great ABC books actually have a fish, or animal, or bug, or whatever the theme is that starts with X. You can find it in the dictionary even! When I see those, I have no doubt why they were published.
I guess my point here is that when you are writing, find the hardest spot and polish.
Because that's where it counts the most.
What is your X word? Post a link in the comments so I can visit.
I write about, with, for, and around kids all day. (Well, maybe I do the dishes too. Sometimes.)