A good picture book should have events that are visually arresting - the pictures should call attention to what is happening in the story.
Santa is our culture's only mythic figure truly believed in by a large percentage of the population. It's a fact that most of the true believers are under eight years old, and that's a pity.
At first, I see pictures of a story in my mind. Then creating the story comes from asking questions of myself. I guess you might call it the 'what if - what then' approach to writing and illustration.
I'm not a perfectionist. I'm just very observant.
'The Polar Express' began with the idea of a train standing alone in the woods. I asked myself, 'What if a boy gets on that train? Where does he go?'