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Children’s Book Review and Giveaway: Ralph Tells a Story, by Abby Hanlon (US/CAN)

Posted Oct 03 2012 12:01am
Since I’m a writer, my twins’ teachers asked me to pay a visit to the second grade classrooms last year to talk about writing. I shared some of the poetry I had written for kids, and the message I wanted to convey to children was that there is plenty of inspiration for writing in your everyday life! I wrote poems about chocolate cake, my cat, losing a tooth, a teacher, brothers, and more. They loved them and clearly understood, I hope, that just about anything can inspire a story or poem! This same message is conveyed to kids in the delightful children’s book, Ralph Tells a Story, by Abby Hanlon.

In this book, little Ralph has a serious case of writer’s block! He will do anything to avoid trying to write a story, like making multiple trips to the restroom and digging in his desk. He looks for stories on the floor, and lying under his desk reminds him of the day he was lying in the grass in the park and an inchworm crawled on his knee. Ralph senses that he has the start of a story, but he’s still puzzled about what to write. When he shares his idea with his classmates, they start asking him all kinds of questions about the inchworm. “Did you name it?” “Did it feel squishy?” Before you know it, Ralph’s mind starts churning with ideas, and he writes his inchworm story! His classmates love it, and Ralph realizes that he has all kinds of stories in his head, which he is eager to share.

I really love Ralph Tells a Story because insecurities about writing are so common among children (and adults)! Often, they feel they have nothing interesting to share or they don’t know how to transfer the thoughts in their head to the paper. This book shows them how to overcome both of these problems. The illustrations by the author are precious, and her background as a first-grade teacher is evident by the realism in the children’s comments and behavior. Every elementary school teacher should read this book to her students to inspire them to write and tell stories! Visit the author’s website at .

Ask your child to tell you a story. As he/she talks, write it down verbatim. Then get ready to read it again and again because your child will love hearing it. Another fun thing to do is write and illustrate a story together. It's also great practice for them to retell a favorite story from a book.

One lucky winner will receive a hardcover copy of Ralph Tells a Story, by Abby Hanlon! To enter, simply fill out the easy Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada only and will end on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 11:59 PM ET.

Disclaimer: This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.
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