Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

S is for Story: A Writer's Alphabet

S is for Story: A Writer's Alphabet

Esther Hershenhorn
Illustrator:  Zachary Pullen 
Nonfiction Picture Book  Series
For ages 6 to 10
Sleeping Bear Press, 2009   ISBN: 978-1585364398

Humans began telling stories thousands of years ago, sharing tales and passing them on from generation to generation. Then people started to do something that changed human society forever; they began to write, first using pictures or symbols, and later using alphabets. Once writing was invented, people started developing ways to preserve the things they wrote. They pressed symbols onto clay tablets, wrote on sheets of papyrus, and then paper. Sheets of paper were sewn together to create books, but it was only after Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press that books became more widespread. Nowadays, thousands of people spend their working hours writing, and millions of people spend time reading the books and documents that writers have created.

In this wonderfully crafted alphabet book, the author delves into the world of writing and story-telling. For every letter of the alphabet she explores one aspect of writing. For example, on the page for the letter C, we learn about characters, “every story’s star.” A short poem briefly explains what characters are, and then a longer section of text looks at characters on a deeper level.

The topics mentioned in this book not only provide insight into the world of writing, they also serve as guide for readers who are interested in becoming writers. Thus we learn about drafts, editing, journaling, writing styles, plots, revisions, voice and more.

In addition to the poems and the sections of text, there are beautiful pieces of artwork on every double page spread. Writing tips and quotations from the writings of famous authors serve to give each topic another layer of interest.

At the back of the book, the author has a P.S, which offers up an interesting selection of facts about writing and writers.