Design a site like this with
Get started

The next 3 writing picture books

The Plot Chickens: Mary Jan and Herm Auch, Holiday House, 2009

0503181702_HDRSynopsis: Henrietta chicken reads and get books from the library. She says reading is so much fun writing must be eggshilarating. Other hens help her as she follows the Rules, with hilarious suggestions and some built-in definitions. When it’s done she submits and it’s rejected so she makes the book herself and takes it to the librarian. The librarian suggests she get it reviewed, but a bad review from the Corn Book hurts her feelings. She is embarrassed to go to the library, but the children love her book and they know it by heart! Funny!

I like that:

  • It has fun word play
  • There are fun puns and things in illustrations: Writing Rules book is written by Reed Moore
  • Her rules show the main things in a story:  character, plot (which needs a problem), develop plot by asking what if, write what you know, build suspense, make your story come alive using all five senses, the main character must solve his or her story.
  • It shows revision and cover letter, rejection and perseverance.
  • It shows she didn’t brood over her rejection.
  • It shows how books use 4 colors to make all colors
  • It shows that while some might not like your story, others will


Ralph Tells a Story: Abby Hanlon, Amazon Children’s Publishing, 2012

0503181659_HDRSynopsis: Ralph has a teacher that says stories are everywhere. Ralph’s classmates seem to find them, but each day at writing time, Ralph cannot write one. So he procrastinates! What writer hasn’t? He tells a friend that nothing happens to him, but she says she’s written lots of stories about him. She shows him. So he looks some more for stories. He closes his eyes and imagines…an inchworm at the park. But when he tries to write about it, he can’t. When Ralph has to share his story, he starts to tell about the inchworm and students ask him questions and suddenly he does have a story. Now he writes stories all the time!

I like that:

  • It’s in first person
  • It shows the possibility of finding stories in everyday things
  • It shows that writers need time to think
  • It shows writer’s block
  • It shows how questions help you write the story
  • Ralph has writing tips at the end
  • The end papers; front ones show blank worksheets and back show all the books he’s written


Rocket Writes a Story: Tad Hills, Schwartz & Wade books, 2012

0503181701b_HDRSynopsis: Rocket (a dog) loves to read or be read to by his teacher, the little yellow bird. Rocket loves words too. He sniffs them out with his nose. When he finds words he writes them down and hangs them on a word tree. Once the tree is covered with words Rocket decides to write a story.  But when he tries, no story comes. His teacher suggests writing about something he’s seen, or that happened to him or that inspires him. So he sniffs for inspiration and makes friends with an owl. He works on his story about the owl for days, editing, drawing pictures, thinking. Slowly the owl, who was at first afraid, comes closer as Rocket reads her parts of his story and they finish it together.

I like that:

  • That there is a story of friendship woven into a story about writing (or vice versa!)
  • It shows that writing is work too
  • It shows the importance of collecting words
  • It shows the importance of reading

Author: Holly Niner

Holly Niner is the author of No More Noisy Nights illustrated by Guy Wolek, and The Day I Ran Away illustrated by Isabella Ongaro. She has had numerous stories published in children’s magazines, and her previous picture books were award winners. Mr. Worry: A Story about OCD, received the 2005 IBBY Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities Award, and I Can’t Stop: A Story about Tourette Syndrome, was the winner of the 2006 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award and a 2005 Bank Street College of Education Best Book. Holly lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

2 thoughts on “The next 3 writing picture books”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: