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I intend to (write and) typeset in LaTeX one or more books for my almost-4 child. They would be books telling a fairy tale (or the labours of Hercules, say) with one sentence and a large illustration in each page. Assuming to have the text and the (probably jpeg) illustration, do you know a package / template / set of macros to put everything together in an easy and pleasant way? "Pleasant" means here, for instance, that the text might be in a different position in each page, or in one or several lines, and so on.

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My initial thoughts were as follows. For each "page" we use two macros to set the text and the image. Then we have a family of basic templates which use these two (sort of how \maketitle works with the title and author). I would probably use TikZ to make the templates since it gives easy access to absolute and relative positioning on the page. So on each page you'd have \text{Hercules strangled the snakes} \image{HerculesAndSnakes.jpg} \usepagetemplate{text under picture}. I certainly don't know of a package already in existence for this, but it wouldn't be hard to make one if not. –  Andrew Stacey Oct 11 '11 at 10:31
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I would also suggest using this style for some pictures (even if it is only one), depending on your document layout as well as the images: How to include a picture over two pages, left part on left side, right on right (for books)? –  Werner Oct 11 '11 at 15:59
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2 Answers

Children's books are as unique as the children that read them. They are very individualistic and would be very difficult to fit them in a class. Each book deserves its own.

Here is a draft for one (very rough, but just to illustrate that it is not that hard to develop a special template),

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description hereenter image description here

and here is the code to play with:

\documentclass[11pt]{book}
\usepackage[svgnames]{xcolor}
\usepackage{ifpdf}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\frenchspacing
\newfont{\HUGE}{cmr17 at 96pt}
\setlength{\textwidth}{3.0in}
\setlength{\textheight}{5.125in}
\setlength{\oddsidemargin}{0.0in}
\setlength{\evensidemargin}{-0.375in}
\setlength{\topmargin}{-0.375in}
\setlength{\headsep}{0.25in}
\setlength{\headheight}{0.125in}
\setlength{\footskip}{0.25in}
\setlength{\parindent}{0.5\parindent}
\ifpdf
  \pdfpageheight 7.5in 
  \pdfpagewidth 4.625in
\else
%\setlength{\paperheight}{7.5in}
%\setlength{\paperwidth}{4.625in}
\addtolength{\oddsidemargin}{1.9375in}
\addtolength{\evensidemargin}{1.9375in}
\addtolength{\topmargin}{1.75in}
\fi
\newcommand{\hstroke}{\rule[0.5ex]{5.0em}{0.2ex}}

\begin{document}

\newpage
\thispagestyle{empty}
\begin{center}
\setlength{\unitlength}{1.0em}%
\begin{picture}(45,16)(0,0)
\put(-0.625,0){\framebox(6.2,7.25){\HUGE \textcolor{purple}{A}}}
\put(5.875,5.625){\parbox[t]{15em}{\Huge \noindent LITTLE GIFT\linebreak
\raggedright FOR LITTLE\linebreak
FEET\linebreak
}}
\end{picture}
\hspace*{-0.6em}\rule{1.08\textwidth}{0.3ex}\\
{\small \sc by}\\
{\small YIANNIS LAZARIDES}\\
{\footnotesize Author of ``Myths of TeX''}\\
\vspace*{18.5 ex}
\rule{\textwidth}{0.3ex}\\
{\small
DOHA\phantom{ZZZZZ,}\hfill\raisebox{0.5ex}{$\bullet$}\hfill THE CAMEL\linebreak
QATAR\hfill\raisebox{0.5ex}{$\bullet$}\hfill PRESS
}
\end{center}
\newpage
\thispagestyle{empty}
\vspace*{18ex}
\begin{center}
{\em Copyright, $\mit 2011$}\\
{\sc By the Little Girl \& Company}\\
\hstroke\\
{\em All rights reserved}\\
\vspace*{18ex}
{\sc A little story book}\\
{\sc for a little girl}\\
\vspace*{12ex}
Made in the wild.
\end{center}
\newpage
\frontmatter
\thispagestyle{empty}
\vspace*{20ex}
\begin{center}
                           {\scriptsize FOR}\\
                {\large \bf Li, Mary and John}\\
\smallskip
                   {\footnotesize AND THE REST\\
                     OF THE WORLD'S\\
                    CHILDREN}
\end{center}
\newpage
\thispagestyle{empty}

\newpage

\mainmatter


\chapter*{Stories of Greece}
\Large

Once upon a time there were two girls. One of them lived in Greece and the other on lived on the land of the Moon \ldots

\pagebreak

\includegraphics[width=3.5in]{children-0}

\ldots and there was a time when everyone was dressed in white\ldots


\hskip-1in\includegraphics[width=1.43\textwidth]{children-01}

\ldots and the gods had wings and there were no demons \ldots
\par

\pagebreak

\hskip-.5in\includegraphics[width=1.43\textwidth]{children-03}

\bigskip

\ldots and on the other side of the world in the Land of the Moon Wi Li was sleeping \ldots
\end{document}

You can view the pdf at crocodoc.

... and I think the books should be small to fit on small laps and to be easy for little fingers to flip the pages...

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Would the beamer class help you already? You could create it as a presentation and print it. Each page (foil) gets a picture, the text is already big.

A quick example (needs a picture).

\documentclass[ngerman]{beamer}
%<<theme>>
\usepackage{babel}
\usepackage{ifthen}
\usepackage[ansinew]{inputenc}

\title{Fairytale}
\hypersetup{pdftitle={Fairytale}}

\makeatletter
\newcommand{\framePicFull}[1]{
    \def\beamertoolgraphic{\includegraphicsJustified{#1}}
    \@framePicHorizontal
}%\framePicFull
\newcommand{\@framePicHorizontal}[2][beamertooldummy]{
\centering
\ifthenelse{\equal{beamertooldummy}{#1}}{
    \beamertoolgraphic
}{
    \hyperlink{#1}{\beamertoolgraphic}
}\\\noindent #2
}%\framePicHorizontal
\newlength{\breit}
\newlength{\hoch}
\newcommand\includegraphicsJustified[1]{%
    \settowidth{\breit}{\includegraphics{#1}}%
    \settoheight{\hoch}{\includegraphics{#1}}%
    \ifthenelse{\lengthtest{\hoch > \textheight}}{%
        \ifthenelse{\lengthtest{\breit > \linewidth}}{%
            \includegraphics[width=0.95\linewidth]{#1}%
        }{
            \includegraphics[height=0.9\textheight]{#1}%
        }%
    }{%
        \ifthenelse{\lengthtest{\breit > \linewidth}}{%
            \includegraphics[width=0.95\linewidth]{#1}%
        }{%
            \includegraphics[]{#1}%
        }%
    }%
}

\makeatother
% ----------------------------------------------------------------
\begin{document}

\frame{
\frametitle{My Fairytale}
\framePicFull{Picture}{Once upon \ldots}
}


\end{document}

The example stretch the picture to nearly fullpage. Depending on our pictures you should use other settings. Best your picture have already the correct size and you use just \includegraphicx.

You could define (or search) a nice template with ornaments or something similar.

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