Wednesday, November 21, 2012

WONDERFUL Children's Book for Reluctant Writers

Oh My Word! Two Writing Teachers blogged about this darling mentor text a few weeks ago and I ordered it from Amazon. I just got it in the mail and opened it up. It is PRECIOUS! It tells the story about a little guy named Ralph who doesn't feel he has any stories to write about.

This is Abby Hanlon's first book. She's a former first grade teacher and it's evident from all the little touches she incorporates. She also did the illustrations and they are precious! I'm so excited to have found a new author! Click here to read more about her and see a preview of the book.

Well, whenever I find something I love, I just have to share. I ordered an extra copy of this amazing hardcover book and would LOVE to send it to one of you. To keep it simple, the winner will be randomly chosen from commenters who do all three of these things:
1) Be a Growing Firsties Google or email Follower
2) Name a favorite book used to teach writing
3) Leave an email address

Winner will be chosen on Sunday, 11/25/12 at 5:00 pm Wisconsin time (CST). Good luck, sweet friends!

Here's a link to Amazon for you to easily buy it yourself. Also, there's a link to two more darling and motivating stories about learning to write and read (Rocket Writes A Story & How Rocket Learned To Read).


  1. I follow your blog! This book is such a great find. I love reading Arthur Writers a Story. It really helps my kids understand that they need to write their own story and not just copy what everyone around them is doing.

    The Littlest Scholars

  2. I follow on google. I use the trio of Library Mouse books with my Kinders every year. They love each story and I love how they teach both non-fiction and fiction writing.


  3. I follow you via email. I like Dear Tooth Fairy to teach letter writing.

  4. Thank you for your comment on my blog and for following!
    I follow you as well :-)
    I always use the story Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts in reading and writing workshop. There are so many great parts to use as examples and the story is so relatable because all of my firsties can connect to wanting something that the other kids have!
    Colleen :-)
    Fun and Fearless in First

  5. I follow your blog. I like The Little Red Pen.

  6. I follow your blog. I love introducing writer's workshop with Library Mouse. Then I have my students create mouse size books as their first activity. Always gets us off to a great start!


  7. What a great post! Love the book and I would love to add it to my collection! I use "the Best Story" by Eileen Spinelli and "ish" by Peter Reynolds. I also read "Show Me a Story" by Nancy Loewen too!
    Of course I stalk, I mean follow you!

  8. What a cute book! I like Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe to teach personal narratives. Love your blog!

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade

  9. Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm your 292nd follower. Getting close to 300, eh? I like to use "The Important Book," by Margaret Wise Brown. It's a great book to show writing that uses a pattern. It also helps teach persuasive writing too.

  10. I'm a follower.

    I use The Crayon Box That Talked to show different tools that authors can use.

  11. I'm a follower! And, that book looks great!

    We use Being a Writer which incorporates many different picture books into their mini lessons. When teaching narrative writing, I like Bigmama's by Donald Crews because the story is really a personal narrative of his own and it helps the students realize that their experiences, no matter how big or small, are worthy of writing about.

    Primarily Speaking

  12. I just used One is a Feast for a Mouse this week to point out how word choice can make a good story great. (My students are fairly good writers, so I try to get them to go beyond using only basic words.)

    Been a follower for a your blog! We love to drive up to WI in the summer...but haven't gotten past Madison since there's so many fun places to stop!

    tokyoshoes (at) hotmail (dot) com

  13. I love to teach writing. One of the best ideas I use is to use familiar text to write about, like Chicken Little or the 3 Little Pigs =)
    I follow you!
    First Grade Blue SKies

  14. Hi Lisa,
    The book looks great! I'm glad I follow your blog. :)
    I like "Written Anything Good Lately?" by Susan Allen. It shows kids that writing is not just about making up a story. It is set up as an alphabet book (autobiography, book report, Christmas card, driving directions...). It is also on Amazon's 4 for 3 deal.
    Thanks for sharing and having the giveaway. Happy Thanksgiving!
    Teaching Fabulous Firsties!

  15. I am a follower with GFC. I haven't heard of this book before, but would love it. I like to use The Important Book to help my kids with descriptive writing.

    kellybrown28021 at gmail dot com

  16. I follow your blog through GFC (as Heather N). I love to use "Brava, Stega Nona!" to introduce personal narratives/ experiences. It is such a cute book!

    Heather (

  17. Hi, Lisa. I follow your blog too, and beg for blog help occasionally...LOL.... One of the many books I use for writing is the Jolly Postman or Other People's Letters by Janet and Allan Ahlberg (There is a Christmas version called The Jolly Christmas Postman). It introduces letter writing in a very child-friendly way. I love it and so do the kids. Thanks, Michele @ The Lightbulb Lab

  18. I am a blog follower. My favorite book to teach writing is Ish by Peter H. Reynolds. In kindergarten our writing starts out as Ish writing and that's ok :)
    Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten

  19. I follow your blog. I use wordless books as one way to teach about writing.
    Thanks for the opportunity.

  20. I Love following your blog. My favorite book for teaching "small moments" is Knufflebunny.
    Chickadee Jubilee

  21. I am a follower:-) I observed another kindergarten teacher use Tomie dePaolo's Nana Upstairs Nana Downstairs as a springboard for writing about a special family member. Since then I have copied that same lesson with my own students. The students get a glimpse of my personal side as I model a writing about my own grandmother and their own versions are heartwarming.
    Michelle Cooper

  22. I am a follower! My favorite book to use to teach about small moments are the Knufflebunny books by Mo Willems. Best part is how I share my own connections with my daughter. I even bring in her "Knufflebunny" that happens to be a very raggedy plush pink doll. The kiddos love it! Always looking for great books to read to inspire writers.
    Jill Cruz
    Cruz'n in First

  23. Apparently I'm not good with following directions! :P

    Cruz'n in First

  24. I love following your blog! One of my favourite books to teach writing with is Click Clack Moo Cows that Type. It is a great springboard for letter writing and I bring in an antique typewriter just like in the book. We read it and build to writing notes to the principal "demanding" things around the school. She plays into it very well and the kids end up getting some free time which they think they got on their own. What fun we have!