Perfect Picture Book Friday – Little Red Writing

Well, would you look at that?  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday again!

Wowee! did last week disappear fast!

I have a tons-of-fun, 3 day old book to share with you today.  I hope you like it!

Title: Little Red Writing
Written By: Joan Holub
Illustrated By: Melissa Sweet
Chronicle Books, September 2013, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 5-8

Themes/Topics: Fairy Tale retelling, writing, bravery

Opening: “Once upon a time in pencil school, a teacher named Ms. 2 told her class, “Today we’re going to write a story!”
“Yippee!” said the birthday pencil.
“Slammin’,” siad the basketball pencil.
“Sharp!” said Little Red.”

Brief Synopsis: Ms. 2 sets her pupils on the story path and let’s them loose to write their very own stories.  The other pencils stick to what they know about, but Little Red wants to write “a story about bravery because red is the color of courage.”  With a basket of 15 red words from Ms. 2 to use in case she runs into trouble, Little Red sets out to find adventure.

Links To Resources: The obvious resource here is the book itself accompanied by giving kids the opportunity to write their own story!  If they need a little help getting started, supply some story starters.  They can base their story on a well-known fairy tale – like Little Red Riding Hood 🙂  You can give them a “basket” with 3-5 words that they must include in their story.  You can give them an opening line and let them continue, for example, “Once upon a time there was a lonely princess whose best friend was a bear…” or “The night I threw pizza on the roof Mom got really mad…”  For younger kids, you could make up the story together.  There is a classroom guide aligned to common core HERE but be forewarned it took awhile to load.  Hang in there, though.  It shows up eventually 🙂

Why I Like This Book:  I love fractured fairy tales.  I love clever.  And I love books that show kids the fun in writing and teach them a little something about how to do it in the process.  In this story, Ms. 2 (the teacher) writes “The Story Path” on the blackboard: “1. Idea, characters, setting  2. Trouble  3. Even bigger trouble  4. Fix the trouble.”  She gives Little Red a basket of emergency nouns.  As Little Red travels her story path she discovers that action verbs are better than boring ones, adjectives may overwhelm your story and need to be cut down, conjunctions can get you in trouble with run on sentences, adverbs can be helpful (“We deliver speedily!”), that the right word in the right place can make all the difference, and that it takes courage to follow your story through to the end… but it’s worth it when you share it with a rapt audience 🙂  Melissa Sweet’s art (which I love – if you haven’t seen Balloons Over Broadway check it out immediately! :)) is the perfect accompaniment for this story as Little Red wends her way through the forest of adjectives and has to face down the Wolf 3000!  (Can you guess what that is??? :))  I also love the little extra touches, like the fact that they attend the Pencilvania School, and the cover page admonition to “Write often and carry a big notebook” 🙂

This book would pair well with Aunt Isabel Tells A Good One.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Before we all head off to read all the other Perfect Picture Books, I’d just like to let you know that on Monday we’ll be having a special guest!  She’s pretty entertaining, so you won’t want to miss her debut appearance!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  And PPBF bloggers, please be sure to leave your post-specific links in the list below so we can all come visit!

51 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Little Red Writing

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