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Storytelling: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about storytelling?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to storytelling. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about storytelling.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about storytelling, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Gooney Bird Greene to popular sellers like Life of Pi to some of our favorite hidden gems like Fortunately, the Milk.

We hope this list of kids books about storytelling can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Top 10 Books About Storytelling

#1
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Fortunately, the Milk
Written by Neil Gaiman & illustrated by Skottie Young
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“I bought the milk,” said my father. “I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: t h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road.” “Hullo,” I said to myself. “That’s not something you see every day. And then something odd happened.” Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious New York Times bestselling story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.

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#2
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Campfire Stories
Written by Andres Miedoso & illustrated by Victor Rivas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Desmond Cole goes camping and tells some scary campfire stories in the eighth book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol series! Camping with Desmond Cole is a lot of fun, until he starts telling ghost stories around the campfire. Most kids tell creepy stories that are totally fake, but Desmond tells totally true stories that will give you goosebumps. So, settle in while Desmond, Andres, and their ghost-friend, Zax, take turns trying to tell the scariest story of all. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

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#3
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Ta-Da!
Written by Kathy Ellen Davis & illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

What makes a good story? One little girl thinks it’s a princess with magical powers that can—ta-da!—overcome any obstacle. Her friend thinks it’s—dun dun duh!—a combination of dragons, pirates, and fire that cause total chaos. But as their stories intertwine, these two young storytellers soon learn that a good story needs both conflict—dun dun duh!—and resolution—ta-da! An irresistible celebration of imaginary play, storytelling, and the joys of collaboration, this gorgeous picture book features two strong voices throughout, making it the perfect read-aloud.

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#4
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Once Upon a Baby Brother
Written by Sarah Sullivan & illustrated by Tricia Tusa
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

When he goes away on a trip, Lizzie, who loves to tell and write stories, is surprised to discover that much of her storytelling inspiration comes from her messy baby brother Marvin.

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#5
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The Granddaughter Necklace
Written by Sharon Dennis Wyeth & illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A mother shares with her daughter stories of the generations of women in their family as each individual has passed along the tales and a glittering necklace to her own daughter. Includes notes on the author’s exploration of her ancestry.

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#6
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Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book)
Written by Julie Falatko & illustrated by Tim J. Miller
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Snappsy the alligator is having a normal day when a pesky narrator steps in to spice up the story. Is Snappsy reading a book … or is he making CRAFTY plans? Is Snappsy on his way to the grocery store … or is he PROWLING the forest for defenseless birds and fuzzy bunnies? Is Snappsy innocently shopping for a party … or is he OBSESSED with snack foods that start with the letter P? What’s the truth?

Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book) is an irreverent look at storytelling, friendship, and creative differences, perfect for fans of Mo Willems.

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#7
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Mira and the Big Story
Written by Laura Alary & illustrated by Sue Todd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Mira is a girl with big questions. She knows two different stories about the way the world came to be. Which story is right? Can they both be right? Is there room for more than one way to think about the world and our place in it? Follow her on an inspiring journey as she discovers a story big enough to include everyone. Along the way, Mira learns to respect and revere the traditions and beliefs of others. Teach children kindness and acceptance with this beautifully illustrated and compelling tale. It is sure to keep young ones enthralled.

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#8
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Once Upon a Winter Day
Written by Liza Woodruff
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
A boy learns that nature is full of stories to tell when he finds and follows a mouse's tracks in a wintery wood.
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#9
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The Storyteller
Written & illustrated by Evan Turk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In a time of drought in the Kingdom of Morocco, a storyteller and a boy weave a tale to thwart a Djinn and his sandstorm from destroying their city.

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#10
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Scary Stories for Young Foxes
Written by Christian McKay Heidicker & illustrated by Junyi Wu
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Christian McKay Heidicker draws inspiration from Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe for his debut middle-grade novel, a thrilling portrait of survival and an unforgettable tale of friendship. The haunted season has arrived in the Antler Wood. No fox kit is safe. When Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they discover a dangerous world full of monsters. In order to find a den to call home, they must venture through field and forest, facing unspeakable things that dwell in the darkness: a zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention. Featuring eight interconnected stories and sixteen hauntingly beautiful illustrations, Scary Stories for Young Foxes contains the kinds of adventures and thrills you love to listen to beside a campfire in the dark of night. Fans of Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Auxier, and R. L. Stine have found their next favorite book.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Storytelling and...

Books About Storytelling and Family

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Once Upon a Baby Brother
Written by Sarah Sullivan & illustrated by Tricia Tusa
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

When he goes away on a trip, Lizzie, who loves to tell and write stories, is surprised to discover that much of her storytelling inspiration comes from her messy baby brother Marvin.

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Fortunately, the Milk
Written by Neil Gaiman & illustrated by Skottie Young
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“I bought the milk,” said my father. “I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: t h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road.” “Hullo,” I said to myself. “That’s not something you see every day. And then something odd happened.” Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious New York Times bestselling story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.

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The Story Web
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In this heartfelt magical novel, Megan Frazer Blakemore shows that how we wield stories has the power to shape the world. When Alice was little, she found a gigantic spider web deep in the forest. Her dad called it the Story Web and told her how its strands were woven from the stories that hold our world together. Years later, Alice’s dad is gone, and she’s sure it’s her fault. Now she won’t even talk about her dad and definitely doesn’t believe his farfetched stories. But when animals in town start acting strangely, she can’t ignore them. They are trying to tell her the Story Web is in danger - that the fabric of our world is breaking. The only way to mend it is to tell honest tales from the heart. Alice must confront the real reason her dad is gone, but is she strong enough to finally tell her side of the story? This magical tale of truth and honesty, integrity and intention is perfect for fans of Katherine Applegate.

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  1. The Rambling - From the author of Goldeline, a Booklist Top 10 First Novels for Youth pick, comes a mesmerizing middle grade fantasy about family and the power of storytelling. Perfect for fans of The Girl Who Drank the Moon and The Thickety. Buddy Pennington is headed to river country, hoping his luck might change. He’ll be better off with his daddy, a wandering soul and a local legend for his skills at Parsnit, a mysterious card game of magic, chance, and storytelling. But no sooner are Buddy and his pop reunited than some of Pop’s old enemies arrive to take him away. Boss Authority, the magical crime lord who has held the rivers in his grasp for years, is ready to collect on an old debt Buddy’s father owes. Now Buddy must set out on a dangerous rescue mission, learning to play Parsnit with the best of them as he goes. Because the stars are aligning for one last epic duel—one that will require a sticky-fingered ally, a lucky twist of fate, and the hand of a lifetime. And in this game, you’re only as strong as the story you tell.

  2. Octopus Stew - What do you do when an octopus captures Grandma? Put on your superhero cape and rescue her! Two stories in one from award-winning Afro-Latino artist Eric Velasquez. The octopus Grandma is cooking has grown to titanic proportions. “¡Tenga cuidado!” Ramsey shouts. “Be careful!” But it’s too late. The octopus traps Grandma! Ramsey uses both art and intellect to free his beloved abuela. Then the story takes a surprising twist. And it can be read two ways. Open the fold-out pages to find Ramsey telling a story to his family. Keep the pages folded, and Ramsey’s octopus adventure is real. This beautifully illustrated picture book, drawn from the author’s childhood memories, celebrates creativity, heroism, family, grandmothers, grandsons, Puerto Rican food, Latinx culture and more.

Books About Storytelling and Imagination And Play

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Ta-Da!
Written by Kathy Ellen Davis & illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

What makes a good story? One little girl thinks it’s a princess with magical powers that can—ta-da!—overcome any obstacle. Her friend thinks it’s—dun dun duh!—a combination of dragons, pirates, and fire that cause total chaos. But as their stories intertwine, these two young storytellers soon learn that a good story needs both conflict—dun dun duh!—and resolution—ta-da! An irresistible celebration of imaginary play, storytelling, and the joys of collaboration, this gorgeous picture book features two strong voices throughout, making it the perfect read-aloud.

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Once Upon a Winter Day
Written by Liza Woodruff
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
A boy learns that nature is full of stories to tell when he finds and follows a mouse's tracks in a wintery wood.
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It's a Tiger!
Written by David LaRochelle & illustrated by Jeremy Tankard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A child imagines that he is in a story where he encounters a tiger at every turn.

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  1. Blue Spot: Walt Disney Animation Studios Artist Showcase - Daisy the kitten has gotten a blue spot on her new white dress. How did this happen, asks her mama. Daisy has an answer, which is anything but simple. Instead, she responds with a wonderful fantastical story that includes a blue monster and plenty of blue treats. Mama encourages Daisy to tell the truth in the end, which she does, but even Mama loves the creativity in Daisy’s first answer—and kids will, too.

  2. Gooney Bird Greene - From the moment Gooney Bird Greene arrives at Watertower Elementary School, her fellow second-graders are intrigued by her unique sense of style and her unusual lunches. So when story time arrives, the choice is unanimous: they want to hear about Gooney Bird Greene. And that suits Gooney Bird just fine, because, as it turns out, she has quite a few interesting and “absolutely true” stories to tell. Through Gooney Bird and her tales, the acclaimed author Lois Lowry introduces young readers to the elements of storytelling. This book will encourage the storyteller in everyone.

  3. Miss Brooks' Story Nook: Where Tales Are Told and Ogres Are Welcome - A hilarious companion to the New York Times bestselling Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I don't) about the power of stories and storytelling.

  4. Silly Goose's Big Story - Friends and imagination save the day Goose’s friends love the stories he makes up when they’re playing. Except one thing – Goose is always the hero. And when they ask to take turns leading the fun, Goose doesn’t agree. While they argue about it, no one notices the hungry wolf sneaking up on them until he shouts, “Hello, Lunch!” This real-life danger shows Goose how silly he’s been and that his friends make terrific heroes! Always a surefire hit on laps or at storytime, Keiko Kasza’s latest shows how imagination can come in handy in an unexpected way.

Books About Storytelling and Multigenerational

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The Granddaughter Necklace
Written by Sharon Dennis Wyeth & illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A mother shares with her daughter stories of the generations of women in their family as each individual has passed along the tales and a glittering necklace to her own daughter. Includes notes on the author’s exploration of her ancestry.

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Ariba
Written & illustrated by Masha Manapov
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Marcus’ joy over a new pair of shoes reminds his grandfather of an old story about a boy named Ariba and his adventure-loving shoes. Every time Ariba put his shoes on, something crazy would happen. Once they even took him climbing to the peak of the yellow mountain! But one day, Ariba decides he’s going to move from his small village to the city on the other side of the mountains. When he arrives, he buys all new things–including a new pair of shoes. His new life has no room for the old pair. And yet, wouldn’t you know it? No matter what he does, the shoes keep finding their way back to him…

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Drawn Together
Written by & illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
The recipient of six starred reviews and the APALA Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature!
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  1. Everything Sad Is Untrue: (a True Story) - At the front of a middle school classroom in Oklahoma, a boy named Khosrou (whom everyone calls “Daniel”) stands, trying to tell a story. His story. But no one believes a word he says. To them he is a dark-skinned, hairy-armed boy with a big butt whose lunch smells funny; who makes things up and talks about poop too much. <p/>But Khosrou’s stories, stretching back years, and decades, and centuries, are beautiful, and terrifying, from the moment his family fled Iran in the middle of the night with the secret police moments behind them, back to the sad, cement refugee camps of Italy.and further back to the fields near the river Aras, where rain-soaked flowers bled red like the yolk of sunset burst over everything, and further back still to the Jasmine-scented city of Isfahan. <p/>We bounce between a school bus of kids armed with paper clip missiles and spitballs to the heroines and heroes of Khosrou’s family’s past, who ate pastries that made people weep and cry “Akh, Tamar!” and touched carpets woven with precious gems. <p/>Like Scheherazade in a hostile classroom, Daniel weaves a tale to save his own life: to stake his claim to the truth. And it is (a true story). <p/>It is Daniel’s.

  2. When the Sea Turned to Silver - This breathtaking, full-color illustrated fantasy is inspired by Chinese folklore, and is a companion to the Newbery Honor winner Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

  3. Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One - What goes into a really good story? Only the best ingredients–a heroine, a hero, excitement, a little romance, and even a villain or two. They are all here, as Aunt Isabel and her niece concoct a delightful story within a story. Fun to read aloud, this book is a lively yarn, a visual treat, and a charming introduction–all in one.

  4. Tea Cakes for Tosh - A young boy helps his beloved grandmother remember an important family story Tosh loves listening to Grandma Honey tell family stories. His favorite is about the special tea cakes that smell like vanilla and sunshine. They were great-great-great-great-grandma Ida’s specialty when she was a cook in the big house of a plantation. Unlike Tosh, the slave children weren’t allowed to have any of the treats, though Grandma Ida always found a way to put the sugary sweetness into their hands anyway. It was a promise and taste of freedom to come. Tosh knows this is an important story and he takes care to remember every word. And when grandma Honey begins to forget, he can return the gift of tea cakes and stories. A touching family tale, Tea Cakes for Tosh celebrates the important bond between grandchild and grandparent and the stories that make a family strong.

Books About Storytelling and Animals

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Scary Stories for Young Foxes
Written by Christian McKay Heidicker & illustrated by Junyi Wu
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Christian McKay Heidicker draws inspiration from Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe for his debut middle-grade novel, a thrilling portrait of survival and an unforgettable tale of friendship. The haunted season has arrived in the Antler Wood. No fox kit is safe. When Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they discover a dangerous world full of monsters. In order to find a den to call home, they must venture through field and forest, facing unspeakable things that dwell in the darkness: a zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention. Featuring eight interconnected stories and sixteen hauntingly beautiful illustrations, Scary Stories for Young Foxes contains the kinds of adventures and thrills you love to listen to beside a campfire in the dark of night. Fans of Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Auxier, and R. L. Stine have found their next favorite book.

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I Broke My Trunk!
Written & illustrated by Mo Willems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.

Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.

Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.

Gerald and Piggie are best friends.

In I Broke My Trunk! Gerald tells Piggie the long, crazy story about breaking his trunk. Will Piggie end up with a long, crazy story of her own?

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Bear Has a Story to Tell
Written by Philip C. Stead & illustrated by Erin E. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy. But first, Bear had a story to tell… Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn’t have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story?

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  1. Tales of Sasha 9: The Disappearing History - In book nine of the Tales of Sasha series, Sasha has to figure out what to do when the recorded history of the flying horses disappears! The History Day celebration is coming up in Crystal Cove, and Sasha has to pick her favorite story to read aloud. But when she unrolls the magical fabrics with the flying horse history on them, she discovers that all the words have disappeared! Can Sasha figure out what happened and find a way to return the stories to the fabrics in time for the celebration?

  2. Life of Pi - The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional–but is it more true?

Books About Storytelling and Social Themes

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Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book)
Written by Julie Falatko & illustrated by Tim J. Miller
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Snappsy the alligator is having a normal day when a pesky narrator steps in to spice up the story. Is Snappsy reading a book … or is he making CRAFTY plans? Is Snappsy on his way to the grocery store … or is he PROWLING the forest for defenseless birds and fuzzy bunnies? Is Snappsy innocently shopping for a party … or is he OBSESSED with snack foods that start with the letter P? What’s the truth?

Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book) is an irreverent look at storytelling, friendship, and creative differences, perfect for fans of Mo Willems.

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Sam Tells Stories
Written by Thierry Robberecht & illustrated by Philippe Goossens
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Eager to make friends, Sam decides to tell a story that isn’t true in order to win his new classmates over, but when he is confronted with the truth, Sam has to set the record straight and learns an important lesson in the process.

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The St. Patrick's Day Shillelagh
Written by Janett Nolan & illustrated by Ben F. Stahl
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A family retells the story of the shillelagh that was whittled from a tree. During the Irish potato famine, Fergus and his family left for America. But first Fergus cut a branch from a blackthorn tree to take a piece of Ireland with him.

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  1. Miles McHale, Tattletale - Miles McHale is a tattletale. And everybody knows it. But he’s not the only one who needs help, so his teacher decides: it’s time to fight the Tattle Battle! But will Miles figure out the right time to tell a grown-up about another person’s behavior, or is he doomed to be a tattletale forever?

  2. No Boring Stories! - A group of misfits takes a stand against sweet, cuddly, boring stories in this picture book by the critically acclaimed author of the Snappsy the Alligator series, Julie Falatko. The unpopular animals have had enough. They want to be in a picture book! Stories about mommy-loving kitties and cuddly bunnies at bedtime are boring. Wouldn’t you rather hear about yeti crabs in robo suits and fierce babirusa princesses who fight giant grape monsters?! This group of misfits has a unique story to tell, but they’ll never finish writing it if their over-eager bunny neighbor won’t GO AWAY! Julie Falatko, critically acclaimed author of the Snappsy the Alligator books, brings her signature humor to this stand-alone picture book about finding your tribe and writing the stories you want to see, no matter how weird or wild they are!

  3. We Gather Together...Now Please Get Lost! - When Gilbert gets stuck with annoying tattletale Philip as his partner for the class trip to Pilgrim Town, he wishes Philip would just get lost! But when Gilbert hides from Philip in the bathroom and can’t get out, he’s sure he’ll have to spend Thanksgiving there all alone. Luckily, faithful Philip comes to the rescue. This memorable holiday episode in the popular series about Gilbert proves to readers that there is always something to be thankful for.

Books About Storytelling and Culture

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The Storyteller
Written & illustrated by Evan Turk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In a time of drought in the Kingdom of Morocco, a storyteller and a boy weave a tale to thwart a Djinn and his sandstorm from destroying their city.

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When You Trap a Tiger
Written by Tae Keller
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Would you make a deal with a magical tiger? This uplifting story brings brings Korean folklore to life as a girl goes on a quest to unlock the power of stories and save her grandmother.
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The Night Gardener
Written by Jonathan Auxier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

A New York Times bestseller, The Night Gardener is a Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling.

The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives.

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  1. The Forever Sky - “<em>Nooko’s</em> spirit is there in the stars,” says Niigaanii to his younger brother, Bineshiinh, as they sprawl in a meadow, gazing skyward. “Uncle said when <em>Nooko&#39: s</em> spirit left this world it went there.” Nooko was their grandmother, and they miss her. But Uncle helps them find comfort in the night sky, where all the stars have stories.<br /> Indeed, there are so many stars and so many stories that the boys spend night after night observing and sharing, making sense of patterns and wisdom in “the forever sky.” They see a moose, a loon, a crane, the Path of Souls, and so much more.<br /> One night, a beautiful show of lights fills the sky. Niigaanii explains that the northern lights are the spirits of the relatives who have passed on. The boys imagine different relatives dancing, lighting up the sky with their graceful movements. And then they see her: Nooko is one of the elders leading the dance. She has a message for them. One they can share with their parents and their uncle and everyone else who remembers her. One that lends power to the skies and brings smiles to the stargazers’ faces.

  2. Shadow Spinner - Every night, Shahrazad begins a story. And every morning, the Sultan lets her live another day – providing the story is interesting enough to capture his attention. After almost one thousand nights, Shahrazad is running out of tales. And that is how Marjan’s story begins…. <br> It falls to Marjan to help Shahrazad find new stories – ones the Sultan has never heard before. To do that, the girl is forced to undertake a dangerous and forbidden mission: sneak from the harem and travel the city, pulling tales from strangers and bringing them back to Shahrazad. But as she searches the city, a wonderful thing happens. From a quiet spinner of tales, Marjan suddenly becomes the center of a more surprising story than she ever could have imagined.

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