May 25, 2012

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!


Reactions:

51 comments:

  1. We'll check this one out. Thanks.

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  2. It's a fun one, and I really LOVE the art - so sweet and engaging!

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  3. This looks like a good story! I would like to learn how to write a good story from a good story! ;) I wonder what happens to Prince Augustus! :)

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  4. Jennifer RumbergerMay 25, 2012 at 6:58 AM

    What an adorable cover! I love it!

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  5. You will have to read to find out! MWA-HA-HA! :)

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  6. I know they're all made up lol, but I love made up stories like this. I'm going to be posting later on, hope that's okay. Be back later! And congrats!

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  7. That cover is darling and there's something wonderful about a book that delivers a helpful lesson without beating it over the reader's head. This sounds like a book that delivers the basics of storytelling without the reader realizing it. They just get it and that's good.

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  8. OH! I love books like this! My friend and mentor, Bobbi Carducci wrote a similar book called "Storee Wryter" about a girl who writes stories with her cat Critique. And there are suggestions at the end of the book for kids to write their own stories.

    This one reminds me of it so much, I have to read it. I'm off to check your resources now. And I will tell Bobbi about this book you are adding to PPBF!

    And, you, brief? Never thought I'd see the day! lol!

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  9. This is a book I shall read. I checked out Scribblitt and Story Starters. Great idea to generate stories even if I'm not in grade school.
    Enjoy your long weekend.

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  10. I know - I find the art just delightful!

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  11. Yes, this one is delicious! No problem - post whenever you like :)

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  12. Storee Wryter sounds good - maybe you should do it for PPBF next week :) And I know - my brevity today is quite shocking! :)

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  13. I think as writers we can always use a jump-start now and then, and I find a lot of story prompts are really geared toward adult stories, so sometimes I like to play with the Scholastic machine :) Have a great weekend, Tracy :)

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  14. The cover had me and I'm glad to hear the story matches the beautiful art! I like the idea of preparing a story the same way you would prepare a fine recipe.

    My favorite 4 words? When my hubby says "I'll get dinner tonight."

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  15. What a delightful sounding book -- and the cover illustration is adorable.

    The phrase "once upon a time" always makes me think of my attempt to read The House That Jack Built to my cousin's young son (more than 40 years ago now!) I would start "This is the house that Jack built" and he would stop me with "NO! One time!" We went around that mulberry bush several times before I realized what he meant. He settled happily into the story as soon as I caught on and began it properly, "Once upon a time this is the house that Jack built..." :-)

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  16. What a wonderful story! I love that! Thanks for sharing :)

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  17. You are so right, once upon a time absolutely gets me thinking comfy, cozy and ready to be entertained!
    I love that cover, so cute :)

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  18. I too was thinking this book might be a great springboard for inspiring story. Since we are into mummies around here, I think my villain must be an evil mummy. Now for the rest...

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  19. Thanks for sharing this one, Susanna. I'm collecting a list of books for kids that teach story writing, so this will be a perfect addition!

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  20. Penny KlostermannMay 25, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    I can't wait to read this book. The title had me right off. I used to do this with my nieces and nephews. Once I started the tradition, they would request story time each time we were together. They would each get to pick a character or setting...then Aunt Penny would make up and tell the story. I don't think I had it as together as Aunt Isabel...my stories didn't have ALL the correct elements.

    Your resources look like great fun! The story starter even has the fun sounds like a generator! Kids will want to spin and spin!

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  21. Oh dear, I feel like I have been MIA the past ten days. I am here to plunge in today! I did a spontaneous school visit, as you know, this week, and I was SO impressed with the listening skills and understanding of story of all these kids. It would not surprise me if they had read this picture book as part of their learning. I love the idea. This is a better way to learn than a 1-5 handout sheet, and loads of fun with it.

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  22. Thank you so much for this recommendation. I've kind of been collecting books like this for a while now. Maybe one day I'll have my own "writing" story, but for now not a single idea for a book like that. I truly love them though!

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  23. That is so sweet, even though it took me a minute to "get it".

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  24. Sometimes my daughter (5) and I like to tell stories at bedtime. She loves to say, "and then..." Sometimes they seem to last forever. We take turns until I finally end it. Inevitably she always has to add something else just so she can end it herself.

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  25. I think we have the same favorite 4 words!

    The cover art reminds me of another book, Once Upon a Twice by Denise Doyen.

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  26. Congrats on your school visit - sounds like it was fun and successful! And yes, this is a fun way to learn about stories :) Good luck with the plunge - I hate missing days because I feel like I miss so much and it's hard to catch up!

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  27. I know - I love this book and have often wanted to do something like it, but I can never come up with anything as original that I feel would work. Who knows... maybe one of these days :)

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  28. My son has announced that he wants to be a writer (either that or a scientist, he says), so maybe I'll have to check this out and read it with him. :) What a great list your are compiling!

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  29. This book sounds adorable! I have an 11-year-old niece who is really getting into writing stories. She's a little old for picture books (you know, until she becomes an adult and learns to appreciate them again!), but she might like this anyway. Plus she can share it with her two little sisters!

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  30. LOL .... you were so fast at my blog I didn't even have a chance to swing around...lol.
    Thankyou for commenting. Your choice today is lovely, so cute, and one I think I need more than the kids. Will pop along to my library later on today... ummm after I get some sleep. Night all!

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  31. Great choice, Susanna! I'd never heard of this one (as well as thousands of others, it seems...thank goodness for PPBF) and I think this is a perfect book for any child, but especially one who shows an interest in storytelling.
    Hearing the words "once upon a time" has always sent a wave of joy through me...also hearing the words "chocolate cake". :)

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  32. I love the websites you shared, Susanna! My kids and I play a game called, "storyteller" where we each write down a few words on pieces of paper and put them in a hat. Then we sit in a circle and when it is your turn you have choose a paper out of the hat and continue the story that was started, adding in whatever is on the paper. It is fun and silly, but my kids have learned that each story needs to have an MC with a problem, and then have to try and solve that problem. Our last story was about a puppy who got caught in a hot-air-balloon and could only come down after a magical parrot pooped on it (what can I say, I DO have a 10-yr old boy :-) Maybe not pb material, but still fun!

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  33. I love this book. I try and read it to my class every year!

    ❀Barbara❀
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

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  34. How great! He can write about science :) Glad you're enjoying the list - Kirsten gets lots of good science-y non-fiction up if your son likes to read that. And feel free to join in any time if you can take a break from hackey-sacking :)

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  35. They are great words! They make you want to write something good too! :) And I know - I love Kate Duke's art - so sweet!

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  36. I'm so glad someone besides me has heard of it before! :)

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  37. It was a lucky accident of fate :) I happened to be on FB for a second and saw your link, so I followed it and added it to the list :) Hope you enjoy the book!

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  38. If you can get her to read it to her two little sisters, she'll absorb the info without feeling like she's reading a picture book :) It's very cute. Clar mentioned another book like this in a comment - Storee Wryter or something. I said I hoped she'd review it for PPBF because I don't know about that one.

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  39. This looks great. I love teaching about storytelling. I will most certainly be getting this one. Thanks.


    Kimberley
    First in Maine

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  40. Your game sounds very fun! I have a box of those story cubes too, but I don't find them as easy to use as they're supposed to be - held the time I can't tell what the picture is of :) - but it's kind of a similar idea to your game. Yours sounds better though! And I don't know - I bet a lot of kids would like a story about magical parrot poop :)

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  41. Up to a point, it's really kind of true. There are certain "ingredients" every story must have. If you forget some, you might still have cake but it won't be very good :) I love your 4 words - they inspired my FB question on Friday :)

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  42. Well, and once upon a time AND chocolate cake - you can't get more delicious than that! :)

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  43. I really need to make a run to the library for nothing but picture books. I have a lot of catching up to do.

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  44. Love that you did this with your nieces and nephews - I bet you were GREAT at it! Glad you liked the resources :)

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  45. I think that's wonderful! Think how you are fostering her imagination and creativity :)













    Christie Wild wrote, in response to Penny Klostermann (unregistered):

    Sometimes my daughter (5) and I like to tell stories at bedtime. She loves to say, "and then..." Sometimes they seem to last forever. We take turns until I finally end it. Inevitably she always has to add something else just so she can end it herself.

    Link to comment

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  46. I love the artwork, but I've always been one to select books based on the illustrations. I used to put books on hold at the library based on illustrators alone.

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  47. I bet you just made a lot of illustrators very happy with that statement :)

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