- Age Range: 6 - 8 years
- Grade Level: 1st - 3rd
- Lexile Measure: 330L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: Two Lions; 8/19/12 edition (September 18, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0761461809
- ISBN-13: 978-0761461807
- Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 10.3 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ralph Tells a Story Hardcover – September 18, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
“Stories are everywhere!” exclaims Ralph's teacher, and Hanlon proves it in her debut picture book. While Ralph’s classmates eagerly scribble stories, he displays his creativity by finding excuses to leave the room. When Ralph complains that he can’t write a story because “NOTHING happens to me,” his friend Daisy replies, “Are you kidding?... I’ve written a ton of stories about you!” (one describes Ralph’s nail-painting adventure: “then the teechr sed oooo no its prmanent marker!”). Eventually, Ralph finds inspiration in a memory of an encounter with an inchworm, and when it comes time to share his story, Ralph’s classmates’ questions prompt him to wildly embellish it, emphasizing the value of oral storytelling. Hanlon’s loose, rudimentary watercolor and colored pencil cartoons are as authentically childlike as Ralph’s voice; literary lions like Olivia and Babar decorate the walls of Ralph’s classroom, speech bubbles provide humorous asides, and Ralph’s wide, craggy line of a mouth easily conveys frustration, anger, nervousness, and confidence. A closing lineup of staple-bound books, among them When Milk Came Out of My Nose and The Smelly Band-Aid, prove that Ralph has left his writer’s block behind. Ages 5–9. (Sept.)
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Top Customer Reviews
And plenty of kids are coming up short. Kids like...my grandson Max, who regards the de rigeur three page story he must write each Sunday night as nothing short of The Great American Novel. Author Abby Hanlon deals with young Ralph's writer's block realistically and humorously, striking a nice balance between making fun of poor Ralph and entering into his feelings.
When he has his epiphany in the end and is able to tell a story, we are with him. We have been there ourselves. Ralph Tells a Story is wonderfully empathetic in tackling a basic problem kids face, succeeding in school. And the artwork is hilarious.
Sort of a juvenile version of How to Get Ideas, Ralph Tells a Story follows a Pigpen-esque Ralph in what I imagine to be second grade. His attempts to unlock a serious case of writer's block are spot-on, and should allow young readers to empathize immediately. Wonderfully emotive illustrations, especially Ralph's near-endless trove of grimaces.
My main and really only gripe is that while the text is legible enough (Palatino?), I would have preferred hand lettering, which may have connected more organically to the story. At the very least, a sans-serif font would have been better.
Positive, funny, practical. Bonus style points for the ruled paper covers and the Before & After endpapers.
If you want a well executed electronic book for children try the iPad App Lil' Critter "Me and My Dad" it is the best of the many dozens of children's electronic picture books we have tried. Even after many months we are still discovering new "Easter Eggs" in that book.
UPDATE (I had previously given the electronic book 2 stars): I was contacted by Amazon and they let me know they had an update of the book and asked if it resolved the issue I had with the electronic form of the book. After trying the update, it did!Read more ›
However, I honestly can't remember the last book I read with the kids that had us all cracking up laughing the way this story did. Not only that, but the way Ralph Tells a Story encourages imagination, thinking outside the box for a creative story, and adding a touch of your own personality and humor to tell a tale is more than encouraging.
We loved the illustrations, and my boys especially got a kick out of the part with the baby and the inch worm (no spoilers here, you'll just have to read the book and see). Another part of the book that was a favorite was in the end, where it showed the titles of the new stories that Ralph creates (When Milk Came Out of My Nose- by Ralph, anyone?) What little boy wouldn't love to read that.
The best part of all, was that this book has encouraged my first grader to create his own little books. He mostly illustrates them, because he's still learning to write well, but if you ask him, he can "read" any of his books to you.
Needless to say, I am fully impressed with this author, and will eagerly await another story by her!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It makes people acatully want to write books cause I really was a little girl and I didn't know what to write about and now I am gonna be a book writer just like you! Read morePublished 1 day ago by apshora
We all love this book! It is favorite of all elementary teachers and students. It's a great read to remind us all that we have stories to tell!Published 26 days ago by Emily C
My granddaughters like this book. It's been a great conversation piece talking about the stories we could write based on things that have happened in our lives.Published 1 month ago by Dyce
This story speaks to those students who struggle so much to find something to write about! They saw that it doesn't have to be anything major, just something that speaks to them.Published 1 month ago by Pam
Great book to help kids get interested in telling stories and putting them on paper. Really enjoyed the story and discussing it with my kids.Published 1 month ago by Tricia L Cauffiel
Cute story with a positive message about perseverance. Had my 5 year old laughing, too. Very cute. Recommend for the kindergarten crowd.Published 1 month ago by C. Wessel
The kids ABSOLUTELY loves this cute little story of Ralph figuring out how to write a story, especially the inchworm and the diaper, LOLPublished 2 months ago by HaloLove