There is nothing quite like a child’s first story. Here are seven books that will encourage and inspire your little ones to use the power of writing to express themselves and channel those wild imaginations onto paper.
by Andrew Larson and Mike Lowery
A little boy wishes to write a story, but he doesn’t know how to write any words. His sister tells him that every story begins with a single word and every word begins with a single letter, and that would be a good place to start. So he starts with the letter “I.” With encouragement from his sister and ideas from his classmates, he goes on to complete the story with squiggly signs, lines, and drawings. This book encourages young children to use their imagination and whatever skills they have to express themselves.
by Janiel Wagstaff and Dana Regan
Do you know what it’s like to be inquisitive? To have your mind racing with questions? Stella does! This second grader wonders about things like hot air balloons, gymnasts, and different animals. With guidance from Ms. Merkley, Stella and her class set out to learn everything about chameleons and become experts in informative writing. This book is part of a series called “Stella Writes”. Stella is a fun role model for little writers. Always full of new ideas and enthusiasm.
by Eileen Spinelli and Anne Wilsdorf
A young girl is intent on winning a story writing contest so that she can go on a roller coaster ride with her favorite author. She sets out on a quest to find out what makes the best story. Father says it is humor. Aunt Jane says the best stories are the ones that make you cry. Cousin Anika advises her to add some romance, and her brother recommends adding some action scenes. She writes and re-writes using everybody’s ideas, but the story doesn’t seem quite right. Finally, she follows her mother’s advice on writing from her heart, because that is where the best stories come from.
by Simon James
Emily loves whales. She thinks there is one in her pond and suspects that he might be unhappy. So she writes to Greenpeace to get some information about whales. In the series of letters that follow, Greenpeace tries to tell Emily that a whale could not possibly fit in her pond. However, Emily does not lose faith in her beliefs or imagination. Finally, she finds the perfect solution to keep her whale happy.
by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin
Farmer Brown’s cows have found and an old typewriter. They type all day long.
Click, Clack, Moo. Click, Clack, Moo. Clickety Clack, Moo. Soon they start writing him notes making demands and go on strike. Other farm animals join the movement too. The illustrations are comical and bring to life the bizarre situation at the farm.
by Karen Kaufman Orloff and David Catrow
Alex wants a pet Iguana and tries to convince his mom to let him have it. The story is told through an exchange of letters between mother and son, both presenting their arguments, which are as imaginative as they are funny. A great example of persuasive writing.
by Natalie Russell
Tapir and his friends have some pencils and new notebooks. His friends are very good with their words. Giraffe writes a poem about a tree. Hippo decides to write a story. Flamingo composes a beautiful song. Tapir also wants to express himself, but he can’t think of anything to write. He tries very hard to find the words but only gets upset and frustrated. Finally, he starts to draw and realizes that he doesn’t need the words after all. His colorful drawings say everything he wanted to say.
Some write, some draw, some sing. What is important is for children to find a form of expression that works for them!