I didn’t know what to expect when I pulled it off the shelf. But I immediately was glad I had paused to take a look. Here’s a creative Perfect Picture Book that has a bonus layer for reading teachers and lots for writers to enjoy. And kids? They’ll love it, too, because they have certainly experienced a few boring stories.
[And from last week’s post on Dancing Through Fields of Color, we have a giveaway winner….. congratulations, Janet Smart! Elizabeth Brown will be sending your very own signed copy soon.]
Title: No Boring Stories!
Written by: Julie Falatko
Illustrated by: Charles Santoso
Penguin Young Readers, 2018, Fiction
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes/topics: story structure, collaboration, imagination
[Mole] Welcome to our meeting, everyone. I assume you’re all here.
[The illustrations are so perfect, you really have to see this!]
The unpopular animals have had enough. They want to be in a picture book! Stories about mommy-loving kitties and cuddly bunnies at bedtime are boring. Wouldn’t you rather hear about yeti crabs in robo suits and fierce babirusa princesses who fight giant grape monsters?! This group of misfits has a unique story to tell, but they’ll never finish writing it if their over-eager bunny neighbor won’t GO AWAY!
Activities and Resources:
Which character is most like you? What connections do you see?
Writing: What kind of stories do you like to read? Work with others who like to write the same kind of stories, and use the elements of story structure to plan your own story.
Why I like this book:
This irresistible story has multiple layers, the main one being the characters’ desire for nontypical stories. No cute bears, rabbits, or ducklings wanted. No birthdays, cuddling or bedtime allowed. Oddball characters, Mole, Babirusa, Yeti Crab, and Giraffe-Necked Weevil, are determined to create an exciting story as the “International Society for Writers of Odd and Weird.” But too-cute bunny, an infiltrator, keeps interrupting. The illustrations are priceless! Through the developing story, Falatko manages to insert a layer on actual narrative structure and story elements. (genius!)
The story is told in dialogue bubbles and employs visual gags and hilariously expressive characters. It’s about assumptions, feeling left out, connecting with others, collaboration, imagination, writing the story you want to read, story structure, and I’m sure there’s more. I really love this gloriously layered story!
This all leaves me wondering…is the story semi-autobiographical? What’s Falatko’s critique group like? How did she come up with this quirky fun story?
Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent activities and resources.