Perfect Picture Book Friday – Aunt Isabel Tells A Good One

Once upon a time…

There are few phrases that fill you with as much anticipation as those 4 little words!  (Okay.  “I made chocolate cake” is right up there too.  Or, if you’re me, “time for Grey’s Anatomy” which is actually a little like “once upon a time” although my faith was badly shaken by the season finale… but I digress.)

When you hear once upon a time, you just know something good is coming!  You settle in, get comfy, and eagerly await whatever comes next!

Well, I feel the same way about 4 other little words – Perfect Picture Book Friday!  When I hear those words, I just know I’m about to read about a whole bunch of terrific books I can’t wait to get my hands on!

And the one I’m going to share with you today is all about that once upon a time…! 🙂

Aunt Isabel Tells A Good One
Written & Illustrated By: Kate Duke
Dutton Children’s Books, 1992, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 3-8

Themes/Topics: creativity, storytelling, imagination, girl power

Opening: “‘Tell me a story,’ said Penelope one night after supper.
‘What kind of a story?’ asked Aunt Isabel.
‘A good story,’ said Penelope.
‘All right,’ said Aunt Isabel.  ‘A good story is the hardest kind to tell, though.  We must put it together carefully, with just the right ingredients…’

Brief Synopsis:  At Penelope’s request, Aunt Isabel makes up a story using all the necessary ingredients.  A When, a Where, and a Who.  Romance, a Problem, and Villains!  But when beloved Prince Augustus is in danger from Odious Mole and Bad-Egg Bat, who will come to his rescue?

Links To Resources: probably the best thing you can do with this story is use it as a springboard for creativity, writing, and storytelling activities, one-on-one or in a group.  Some online resources to enhance the fun are Scribblitt and Story Starters.  And illustrating the stories (before or after) is always fun too!

Why I Like This Book: the story is fun and engaging, and the art is absolutely charming.  But even better, it is actually a how-to manual for how to write a story!  While Aunt Isabel is making up a story for Penelope, readers are learning how to make up their own stories.  This applies to adults as well as kids 🙂  Whether you’re a child, a parent, a teacher, or a writer (or any combination thereof :)), I think you’ll enjoy this one!

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

Before we all head for the PPB list, I just want to thank the fabulous Natasha over at Writes By Moonlight for bestowing the Kreativ Blogger Award on me!  As you all know, I am terrible at these awards, and as you can tell by how impressively brief I’m being today I’m unusually pressed for time, so I’m going to skip the questions and random facts and trying to pick other people to give the award to for now.  But do please pop by and visit Natasha!

PPBF bloggers, please add your post-specific links below!  I will be popping around reading when I can, and then spending as much of this holiday weekend as I can appropriate trying to choose finalists in the Birthday Contest!

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend everyone!

Scribblitt – Writing Fun For Kids Of All Ages!

I discovered something fun, and of course couldn’t wait to share it!

Whether you’re a parent or teacher with children who love to write or children who need to find the fun in writing, or a writer who wants to play around, you’re going to like this!

It’s fun, it’s free, it’s safe for kids, and it’s called Scribblitt,

and here with us today is Scribblitt’s creator, Andrea Bergstein.  Welcome, Andrea!

Andrea Bergstein and her girls – the inspiration for Scribblitt

SLH:  Where did you get the idea for Scribblitt?

AB:  My daughter, an avid writer for her age, writes story after story and always asks me to help her get them published.  My younger daughter, a budding illustrator draws non stop.  The trail of paper in my house is endless!  I wanted to encourage their efforts as I learned through research that reading helps develop your writing skills, but writing helps develop your cognitive growth, organizational ability and the power to influence others through persuasion.  I decided to create an online space for all kids to be able to create, write, and illustrate and then, the ultimate goal, to professionally publish their stories.  There are lots of helpful writing tools, illustrating tools, word games, writing contests, and even celebrity author interviews.
An overview of Scribblitt’s Home Page
SLH:  Do you have credentials that make you uniquely suited for developing Scribblitt?

AB:  My expertise is actually in Marketing Kids products.  I spent 10 years (in 3 countries) Marketing some of the world’s most loved toys – Barbie, Polly Pocket, and Hot Wheels.  I also ran the Marketing for Nelvana Animation Studios, building brands like Babar, Franklin and Beyblade.  Then I spent many years working as a Consultant on kids products like Universal Studios Home Video, Campbell’s Soup, Danon and more.  Not only that, I am a Mom!  I have spent years looking at what kids like to do online, how to encourage educational use of the computer, what tools would be helpful to them in the writing and illustration arena, and how to keep them safe online.  I have gathered all this valuable information, talked with teachers and many in the online fields.  

SLH:  Did you create the whole site yourself, or did you hire a computer-savvy someone to construct it to your specifications?

AB:  I wrote an outline of what I wanted Scribblitt to look like and what functions I wanted it to have and then hired specialists to help me make it happen.

SLH:  What are your goals for the program?

AB:  Scribblitt is an amazing tool for kids, to encourage them to create and write.  I would like to spread the word about Scribblitt to all kids 7-12 years old – everyone has a story to tell! I am committed to adding features to the site that matter to kids, tools that will help them achieve a fabulous finished products, and more products that they can create.
A sample of the type of illustration you can create

SLH:  What do you wish people knew?

AB:  Writing is such an important skill and we should be spending more time on it with our kids to help foster their creativity, develop their cognitive growth, organizational abilities and levels of persuasiveness.  

SLH:  Anything else you’d like to add or talk about?

AB:  Scribblitt also makes a great fundraiser for schools or organizations!  Simply register at www.scribblitt.com/fundraising, we will give you a special code to share with your school or organization.  Kids write a story and publish it and earn their school/organization 10% of all sales (within an agreed upon timeframe).

Thank you, Andrea!  I would like to add that Scribblitt has many helpful features.  The “Write It” section includes story starters and tips on how to plan characters, setting, and main idea, as well as how to map beginning, middle and end.  By answering the questions posed, young writers will grasp the basics of story by coming to it in their own way rather than by being told what to do.  For the child who loves to write, this is an opportunity to give wings to their imagination.  For the child who isn’t sure how to write, Scribblitt will give them the tools they need to make writing accessible and fun.

Please visit Scribblitt (www.scribblitt.com) and like Scribblitt on FaceBook!

I hope everyone will go give Scribblitt a try.  If you do, please let us know how you like it, and spread the word to others who might be interested.  If you have any additional questions for Andrea, ask them here 🙂