The Story of a Story
The Story of a Story
Perma-Bound from Publisher's Hardcover22.15
Publisher's Hardcover16.44

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Annotation: Help young readers become young writers with this sweet picture book about a child finding the words to tell his own sto... more
Catalog Number: #319023
Format: Perma-Bound from Publisher's Hardcover
Publisher: Holiday House
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 0-8234-4491-0 Perma-Bound: 0-8000-1964-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-8234-4491-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-8000-1964-8
Dewey: 808
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
A child slowly blossoms into a writer.Addressed by an adult’s second-person voice, “You,” a beige-skinned child with choppy black hair, in brown pants and a dark striped sweater, are trying to write a story. “You bring your heart and mind, your endless curiosity, and a deep longing to create, to write, to say something about the world—to tell a story.” Of course there’s writer’s block, distractions, and the grinding feeling of I-can’t-do-this, but after the child, still “you,” observes a chickadee patiently and painstakingly plucking individual seeds from a bird feeder, the idea of crafting a story one word at a time inspires the character to persevere. The didactic, inspirational, quiet tone makes this an appropriate choice for a teacher, librarian, or educator introducing a creative writing unit, but it’s not, sadly, an engaging tale for a wide audience of young readers. The bold use of you to refer to a very specific child, as well as a very particular kind of experience—a house with a bird feeder, snow outside, the desire to express oneself through writing—narrows rather than broadens the appeal, as some readers may bristle at being told untrue things about themselves. A page of prompts encouraging readers to write their own stories about a chickadee appears at the end along with a website about the bird. (This book was reviewed digitally.)Well crafted but of limited utility. (Picture book. 5-8)
School Library Journal Starred Review
K-Gr 4 This poetic narrative, with quiet, thoughtful illustrations, depicts a young boy in winter trying to find the right words to start a story. Voiced in the second person, the sequence of events will feel utterly familiar to writers of any age and especially reassuring to new, young ones as they watch how finding ideas takes time and focus. Uncluttered spaces between text lines and illustrated elements within the boy's room match the purposeful pauses from the task at hand: the boy gets a snack, reads other stories, and doodles as he waits for words to come.The white, gold, and blue-toned colors lightly infuse the careful, penned outlines of the spare walls, crumpled papers, and cheerful, pensive expressions flitting across the boy's face as he thinks. Inspiration strikes unexpectedly, as a small form flits outside the boy's snowy window, echoing how, little by little, authors' words can piece together a tale experienced or imagined from their own point of view. Hopkinson's words gently encourage readers to remember that this craft takes patience, but also how there is something remarkable about finding your unique voice. VERDICT A comforting read for anyone who writes and a precise, essential "hook" book for elementary writing lessons, this book will ease young scribes into their next story. Rachel Mulligan, Westampton, NJ
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* The Chinese proverb "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" can also be applied to writing. One winter day, a young boy decides he wants to write a story and gathers paper, pencils, and a snack. Unfortunately, he soon discovers that writing is not as easy as simply wanting to write. After several failed attempts and with drafts littering the floor, he considers giving up and just settling for reading other people's stories. But his desire to create is too strong. While gazing out the window, the child watches a chickadee take only one seed, fly to a branch, eat it, and return to the feeder for another. Understanding that eating like that requires much time, patience, and tenacity, the child decides to model that behavior and tries again to write his tale by putting down just one word at a time. Hopkinson ends her tale and encourages readers to write their own story entitled "The Chickadee" by offering example sentences for the beginning, middle, and end. Charming illustrations ade using pen, ink, and paint, and completed on Photoshop e delightful to pore over. Observant readers will see the small black-and-white bird and the pinecone feeder that are clearly visible from the child's window and enjoy watching the antics of the boy's faithful canine sidekick.
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School Library Journal Starred Review (9/1/21)
Kirkus Reviews
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: K-3

Help young readers become young writers with this sweet picture book about a child finding the words to tell his own story!

If you’ve ever tried to write a story of your own, you know it’s not as easy as it looks. Words get tangled, pencils get broken, piles of pages get crumpled up. It’s so much easier just to read all the lovely stories other people have written. . . . But their stories aren’t your stories, and your tale is worth telling. 
 
A mostly empty page
Then another.
And still another.
There are squiggles.
There are doodles.
But the words won't come.
 
With the gentle reassurance of experience, two-time SCBWI Golden Kite Award Winner Deborah Hopkinson writes a story that encourages persistence, and celebrates the strength of every child’s unique voice and the story they have to tell.  Charming illustrations by Hadley Hooper detail the child’s efforts-- and the stroke of inspiration that helps him get going. 
 
This is the perfect picture book for kids who love stories and have big ideas of their own.  Young readers who don’t know where to start will be encouraged by the gentle humor, and a page of story-starting ideas offers the opportunity to expand the experience beyond the book.  
 
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection


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