Creative Writing for Beginning Readers: Stories inspired by Pamela Zagarenski

Yesterday in our Creative Writing for Beginning Readers workshop we wrote stories based on the beautiful illustrations in Pamela Zagarenski’s book The Whisper. This picture book is about a magic book whose words have all flown away and it is up to one intelligent little girl to create new words for it.

We created our own stories for it as a group, about a giant owl under a magic spell, who has to get butterflies to Hawaii before he shrinks again, and about a magic circus with a similarly giant tiger king.

Here one child shares her cool story about the owl going to be a part of that magic circus!

For children between 5 and 8 years old it helps to prompt their creativity with a lot of visuals. That’s why the beautiful and dreamlike illustrations in this book called out to me as perfect for this group. It took some time but once the kids got going, they had fun imagining everything about the magical animals.

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If you have a child between 5 and 8 who likes stories and who is learning to write, sign them up! Call the Children’s Desk at 626-744-4066 option 4. We meet every 2nd Tuesday (with a few exceptions) at 4:30 pm in the Central Library Children’s Story Room.

More books illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski:

AnnMarie Kolakowski

I'm a youth services librarian currently working at the Lamanda Park Branch Library while Central Library is closed for seismic repairs. I purchase juvenile fiction for grades 2-8, and some foreign languages. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including 3 regular book clubs (Windows and Mirrors, Read Around the World, and Lucha Libros), as well as writing workshops and STEAM/science programs. I also Infant/Toddler Storytimes and Preschool Storytimes, and outreach to local area preschools. I love what I do, working with kids of all ages to inspire them to learn and use their curiosity and imaginations. Outside of my work at the library, I am also the author of a book on creative writing activities for kids.

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