Reading and writing make a pretty great pair, right? I mean, our students get some of their best ideas from books they have read. When it comes to helping kids become better writers, I like to draw upon picture books as mentor texts. Here are some of my favorite picture books about writing for kids. These are sure to inspire some great writing!
You can click on any of the covers below to learn more about each book or find all of these Picture Books about Writing on my Amazon page.
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Picture Books about Writing for Kids
The Best Story
by Eileen Spinelli
The best story is one that comes from the heart. The library is having a contest for the best story, and the quirky narrator of this story just has to win that roller coaster ride with her favorite author! But what makes a story the best? Her brother Tim says the best stories have lots of action. Her father thinks the best stories are the funniest. And Aunt Jane tells her the best stories have to make people cry. A story that does all these things doesn’t seem quite right, though, and the one thing the whole family can agree on is that the best story has to be your own.
The Plot Chickens
by Mary Jane Auch
Henrietta loves to read. When she clucks buk, buk, buk at the library, the librarian knows exactly what to recommend. Then Henrietta decides to write a book. With the help of her three aunties, she hatches a plot. But when Henrietta publishes her story, the critics say she’s laid an egg! Is this the end of Henrietta’s career as an author?
Look! I Wrote a Book! (And You Can Too)
by Sally Lloyd Jones
Want to write a book? Well, the spunky, know-it-all narrator of this side-splitting story can tell you just how to do it. She walks readers through the whole process, from deciding what to write about (like dump trucks or The Olden Days) to writing a story that doesn’t put everyone to sleep and getting people to buy your book (tips: be nice, give them cookies, and if all else fails, tie them to a chair).
by Adam Lehrhaupt
The idea jar is where students keep their ideas—anything from a Viking to a space robot to a giant dragon. These ideas can be combined to make new exciting stories. But watch out when the ideas escape the jar—they might get a little rowdy!
Grab some free activities to pair with this story here.
How to Write a Story
by Kate Messner
Step 1: Choose an idea for your story. A good one.
Step 2: Decide on a setting. Don’t be afraid to mix things up.
Step 3: Create a heroine—or a hero.
Accomplished storytellers Kate Messner and Mark Siegel playfully chronicle the process of becoming a writer in this fun follow-up to How to Read a Story, guiding young storytellers through the joys and challenges of the writing process. From choosing an idea, to creating a problem for their character to resolve, to coming to The End, this empowering picture book breaks down the writing process in a dynamic and accessible way, encouraging kids to explore their own creativity—and share their stories with others!
Ralph Tells a Story
by Abby Hanlon
Nothing ever happens to Ralph. So every day when it’s time to write stories, Ralph thinks really hard. He stares at his paper. He stares at the ceiling. But he has no stories! With the help of his classmates, Ralph realizes that a great story can be about something very little . . . and that maybe he really does have some stories to tell.
The Panda Problem
by Deborah Underwood
Every story needs a problem. But Panda doesn’t have a problem. Unless…Panda is the problem. The author loses control of the narrative in this funny book as Panda helps explain what makes a story great.
by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
“One day. . . I went to school. I came home. The end,” says our storyteller—a girl with a busy imagination and a thirst for adventure. The art tells a fuller tale of calamity on the way to school and an unpredictably happy ending. Each illustration in this inventive picture book captures multiple, unexpected, and funny storylines as the narrator shares her shorter-than-ever stories, ending with “One day. . . I wanted to write a book.”
The Squiggly Story
by Andrew Larsen
Who says there’s only one way to write a story? A young boy wants to write a story, but he only knows his letters, not words. His sister says, “Why don’t you start there, with a letter?” So the boy tries. He chooses an easy letter to begin with. The letter I. And to his delight, with just the power of his vivid imagination, and no written words, an amazing story begins to unfold, right before his eyes.
Rocket Writes a Story
by Tad Hills
Rocket loves books and he wants to make his own, but he can’t think of a story. Encouraged by the little yellow bird to look closely at the world around him for inspiration, Rocket sets out on a journey. Along the way he discovers small details that he has never noticed before, a timid baby owl who becomes his friend, and an idea for a story.
Little Red Writing
by Joan Holub
Once upon a time in pencil school, a teacher named Ms. 2 told her class, “Today we’re going to write a story.” So begins a hilarious and exuberant retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood”, in which a brave little red pencil finds her way through the many perils of story-telling, faces a ravenous pencil sharpener (the Wolf 3000), and saves the day.
Chloe and the Lion
by Mac Barnett
Meet Chloe: Every week, she collects loose change so she can buy tickets to ride the merry-go-round. But one fateful day, she gets lost in the woods on her way home, and a large dragon leaps out from-“Wait! It’s supposed to be a lion,” says Mac Barnett, the author of this book. But Adam Rex, the illustrator, thinks a dragon would be so much cooler (don’t you agree?). Mac’s power of the pen is at odds with Adam’s brush, and Chloe’s story hangs in the balance. Can she help them out of this quandary to be the heroine of her own story?
by Daniel Kirk
Sam is a library mouse. His home was in a little hole in the wall in the children’s reference books section, and he thought that life was very good indeed. For Sam loved to read. He read picture books and chapter books, biographies and poetry, and ghost stories and mysteries. Sam read so much that finally one day he decided to write books himself! Sam shared his books with other library visitors by placing them on a bookshelf at night. Until there came the time that people wanted to meet this talented author. Whatever was Sam to do?
How This Book Was Made
by Mac Barnett
You may think you know how this book was made, but you don’t. Sure, the author wrote many drafts, and the illustrator took a long time creating the art, but then what? How’d it get into your hands? Well, open the cover and read through these pages to find out. Just beware of the pirates and angry tiger.
One Stop Story Shop
One day, a brave knight sets out for the cave of a terrible dragon. “Come out and meet your match, you great big beast!” the knight announces. But to his dismay, he learns that the dragon has gone on vacation. “How can I finish my story?” the knight wails. “With no dragon, my story is STUCK!” Then he discovers the One-Stop Story Shop, which just might be what he needs to finish his tale…but not exactly the way he had planned!
The Story Thief
Olive is a shy girl who prefers reading about adventures to having them herself. But when a mysterious figure steals all of the books in town, Olive decides to set out straight into an adventure of her own. The thief, meanwhile, doesn’t quite know what to do with the stories he’s stolen. Olive must track down the thief and teach him the joys of reading – and sharing – stories.
Rufus the Writer
Why have a lemonade stand when you can have a story stand? That’s what Rufus, a boy with a big imagination, decides. And once he’s in business, he starts creating little gems for his friends and family. Millie and Walter trade a shell for his story called “Why Orange Is the Best Color.” Rufus writes little sister Annie a story for her birthday about a girl who shrinks to the size of a teacup. Sara trades flowers for a story about a family of buttons. And then they all sit down and read the wonderful stories together.
What are your favorite picture books about writing? I’d love to check them out!
You can find more of my favorite books to share with kids here.
You might also enjoy these Ways to Increase Writing Engagement.
Happy Reading (and Writing)!