Our favorite picture books inspire our kids to come up with stories of their own, though I’m especially excited about the Little Red Writing book, which also teaches them the how to construct the story so that it’s entertaining and fun. Because while I have always loved my kids’ stories, they definitely get better when they aren’t one big run-on sentence. (Sorry kids.)
Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, the book packs several grammar lessons into a story borrowed heavily from Little Red Riding Hood, as you might have guessed. Little Red is a pencil who is assigned a writing assignment in class. Ms. 2, her teacher, hands her a basket of 15 words to use and some advice to stick close to her story path, before sending her on her way.
As she thinks about her story, Little Red comes up with more exciting action verbs, clear and descriptive adjectives, and even finds out how too many conjunctions can really bog things down. And like the classic fairy tale, she meets a nasty, duplicitous villain who, while not a wolf, is just about the scariest thing a pencil could meet.
I love the illustrations which are so detailed and packed with information, you could either spend a lot of time going over each one, or chose to focus on different parts of speech every time you read. And, rather than explaining to kids what a run-on sentence is, they can just read the one that comes out of Little Red’s mouth as she tries to run away from the growling monster. Trust me, they’ll get the message.
Joan Holub’s Little Red Writing book is available from our affiliate, Amazon, or your local independent bookstore.