HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8Creative Writing with Kids – Daisy and Ralph in “Ralph Tells A Story”

Creative Writing with Kids – Daisy and Ralph in “Ralph Tells A Story”

By Abby Hanlon, The Children’s Book Review
Published: October 10, 2012

Ralph Tells A Story is about a little boy who feels pressure in the classroom. Ralph notices that everyone around him is busy writing, and he feels incapable. But ultimately, his desire to communicate overpowers his fears. Learning to write is empowering.

When I was a teacher, I loved teaching writing with the workshop model because it allowed children to work on their own level, and I could celebrate a child’s individual achievements. But I also noticed the pressure that kids felt during writing time. I noticed as they compared their abilities to others. The variation in writing skills across a class of five- and six-year-olds can be vast. While I had some students who struggled to put a single letter on the page, another kid might have been writing the prologue to his chapter book.

In Ralph Tells A Story, I tried to capture this disparity in the relationship between Daisy and Ralph. While Ralph is staring at his blank paper in front of him, Daisy can’t stop finding things to write about, and, ironically, one of her great inspirations is Ralph. As Ralph is lusting over the stapler as a fun distraction from the task at hand, Daisy is busy stapling her thirteen-page book together, only adding to Ralph’s anxiety. Eventually, however, it is Daisy who comes to Ralph’s rescue and aids in his transformation. I watched children go through a big transformation many times in my classroom.

Illustration copyright © 2012 by Abby Hanlon

A Writing Tip

When my son was four years old, he asked me, “Why are grown ups so bad at reading?” I said, “What do you mean by that?” He replied, “They can never read what I write!” Of course, this was because his writing consisted of giant letters, formed all kinds of ways, written from the bottom to the top of the page. But I was very pleased with his analysis. He was writing to communicate, and he was not questioning his emergent skills. Confidence is the most important thing we can give our kids as they embark on these early efforts.

For more writing tips, visit the next stop on Abby Hanlon’s blog tour: Adventures in Mommydom

About the Author

Abby Hanlon

Abby Hanlon has a master’s degree in early childhood education from the City College of New York and bachelor’s from Barnard College, Columbia University. Abby has taught creative writing and first grade in the New York City public school system. Inspired by her students’ storytelling and drawings, Abby began to write her own stories for children. Determined to illustrate her stories, Abby taught herself to draw after not having drawn since childhood.Ralph Tells a Story is her first book. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and their two children. To learn more, visit her website: http://www.abbyhanlon.com/

Add this book to your collection: Ralph Tells a Story
How You Support The Children's Book Review
We may receive a small commission from purchases made via the links on this page. If you discover a book or product of interest on this page and use the links provided to make a purchase, you will help support our mission to 'Grow Readers.' Your support means we can keep delivering quality content that's available to all. Thank you!

Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

  • Bianca, Thank you so much for this opportunity! It is exciting to see my book featured on your terrific blog.

    October 10, 2012
  • If some one wishes expert view on the topic of running a blog afterward i suggest him/her to visit this
    web site, Keep up the fastidious work.

    May 17, 2013

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.