Picture Book Review: “This is a Good Story”
This is a Good Story
Author: Adam Lehrhaupt
Illustrator: Magali Le Huche
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2017)
Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
From E.B. White Read Aloud author Adam Lehrhaupt comes an inspiring new picture book that takes apart the pieces of a story—hero, heroine, setting, conflict—and asks the reader to put the story back together again.
As a child takes her pencil and begins to draw pictures for a story, the narrator takes her and the reader through a rollicking sequence of events in this classic tale of bad guys and townsfolk and dungeons. With simplicity and flair, Adam tells a story and then a meta-story of the parts of the story at once! A wonderful primer on the parts of a story and an imaginative way to encourage creative thinking, writing, and storytelling.
This is such a fun book that encourages young readers and future authors to write their own stories! The author takes all the elements of a story (setting, conflict, plot, etc.) and weaves them into a story about writing a story. Here’s an example:
“Our Story begins with Hero and Heroine.”
The elements of the story are boldly displayed and capitalized. Another example:
“They live in a good town, filled with good people,
called our Setting.
As with any Good Story, ours has a
Conflict, a problem that needs fixing.
and it’s a good thing, too, because without
a Conflict there would be no Plot.”
Whenever there is a problem with the story (which is being written by a little girl), the narrator comes back and encourages little girl to revise her storyline. For instance, when the little girl creates a wishy-washy antagonist, readers can feel the the narrator almost stopping her in her tracks (notice the look on her face),when he says,
“That’s not an Evil Overlord!
Come on. That’s barely a Creepy Sidekick.”
The pictures are amazing! I love the little girl who is “authoring” the story. Though the narrator does all the talking, we can see how the little girl is working through the writing of the story through the pictures. Some of the looks she gives the narrator are priceless!
Glossary – An Added Bonus
There is also a one-page glossary in the back highlighting and defining all the elements of a story. This is a great addition kids can use to make sure they have all the elements included in their story.
Overall I absolutely loved this book. It’s fun, it’s creative and will inspire the imagination of budding young authors! The age range listed on this book is 4-8 years. I’m thinking kids at the higher end of that range will enjoy it more, though the younger ones will definitely enjoy the lively, fast-action pictures!
About the Author
Adam Lehrhaupt is the award-winning picture book author of Warning: Do Not Open This Book!, Please: Open This Book!, Chicken in Space (A six book HarperCollins series continuing with Chicken in School June 20, 2017), I Will Not Eat You and I Don’t Draw, I Color as well as the upcoming Wordplay (Scholastic, July 2017), This is a Good Story (S&S, September, 2017), Idea Jar (S&S, Spring 2018) and several more he is not yet at liberty to discuss. Among the awards his titles have won are the E.B. White Read-Aloud Honor, the Wanda Gag Read-Aloud Award and the Hudson Readers Thumbs Up Award. His books have also been honored among ALA notable books, Huffington Post notable books, CCBC Choices, Bank Street Choices, Ontario Library Association ‘Best Bets’ and more.
Adam has traveled to six continents, performed on Broadway, and lived on a communal farm. He firmly believes that opening a book is a good thing, even if there are monkeys in it. Adam currently lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, with his wife, two sons, and two bizarre dogs.
I obtained a copy of this book to review from my local library. I’m working my way through 500 picture books. Need a picture book review? Contact me!