Perfect Picture Book Friday: SHOW ME A STORY – WRITING YOUR OWN PICTURE BOOK Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday! 

WHAT BAD LUCK! My scheduled blog post had to be pushed because the author’s book was pushed

And then a happy accident happened. If any of you ever watched the late great Bob Ross painting on TV, you’ll remember that he said there were no mistakes, only happy little accidents.

WHAT GOOD LUCK! I reached out to dear writing friend Suzy Leopold and she stepped up to the plate. Suzy put together an awesome Will Write for Cookies post, created a super journal-making craft, and is giving away a personalized journal! More than that, she shared the name of a picture book she uses in her school visits. I fell in love with it and plan to use it with students next year when my debut picture book launches.

tell me a story cover


Written by Nancy Loewen

Illustrated by Christopher Lyles

Published by Picture Winow Books/Capstone (2009)

Ages: 7-9

Themes: creating stories, writing your own book


From Amazon: Ready to build a picture book? First, you’ll need the right tools. Open this title in the Writer’s Toolbox series and discover plenty of tips and tools to get you started. Soon you’ll be writing and showing stories like a pro!

Why I like this book:

  • Humorous story that serves as an example
  • Great illustrations that will engage kids
  • Breaks down the main elements of a picture book in simple terms


Journal-Making by Suzy Leopold

September 2010 044 (1)

Materials Needed:

One composition notebook or student journal

Three pieces of 12 X 12 inch scrapbook paper

Glue stick

Hot glue gun


Paper cutter (optional)



Di cut letters or letter stickers

Ribbon or Rick Rack 


September 2010 049

  1. Using three sheets of scrapbook paper, cut two pieces of scrapbook paper 8 X 12 inches.
  2. Apply a generous amount of glue to the journal, position the scrapbook paper and smooth out any bubbles.
  3. Wrap and fold the extended edges of the scrapbook paper, creating mitered corners and secure with a generous amount of glue.
  4. Cut two pieces of scrapbook paper 9 X 6 inches. Using a glue stick adhere to the inside covers of the journal.

September 2010 053          5. Open the journal to the middle section of the notebook that reveals the stitching. Hot glue two or three 14 inch pieces of ribbon on the top edge. Drape the pieces of ribbon across sections of the notebook to become a bookmark. Tie a knot at the bottom of each piece of ribbon.

        6. Time to embellish your journal with scrapbook stickers and cutouts, etc. Use additional scraps of scrapbook paper. Recycle greeting cards. Use buttons and babbles. Be creative. 

September 2010 056 

Suzy  and I are both passionate about encouraging kids to read at home. She shared the info-graph below. I totally 100% agree with her…I used to hand out flyers to the students to bring home, asking parents to spend 15 minutes a day with their kids, reading, crafting, or cooking. But I like the 20 minutes better!

Why Read 20 m daily

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. For more picture book reviews, head on over to Susanna Hill’s website. But before you go, please leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a personalized journal made by the queen of craft herself…Suzy!

And don’t miss tomorrow’s Will Write for Cookies when Suzy shares her thoughts about using journals for this writing life and more.


About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever - Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (PomegranateKids, March 15, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, Feb 13, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, May 1, 2019); MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE (Little Bee Books, Spring 2020); FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD MOVES (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fall 2020) picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my young grandson.

Posted on September 29, 2017, in Craft activities for kids, Perfect Pictture Book Friday, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. I love reading, crafting and cooking. I tried to do all these things with three active boys. I was successful half the time. They wanted to play sports in the backyard mostly. But when we had the time, we would indulge in picture books, crafting sailboats or making brownies.

    This journal looks like a wonderful one! Great book, thank you for sharing!

    All the best, Lily


    • Thank you Lily. It is my pleasure to share with you. I, too, have boys. While they are all grown up now, I understand your thoughts about their preferences for playing sports and being active as you squeeze in time for books, crafting and cooking. Continue to find a balance with all of these activities and consider reading as a priority.


  2. What a great looking book – can’t wait to read it! And I just helped in my son’s 3rd grade class where they made writer’s notebooks using a similar process. I never thought to make one for myself but I just might now! 🙂


  3. Hi Suzy and Vivian – thanks for a great craft, chart, and book about writing picture books. I will take a look at the book for sure!


  4. I laughed out loud at “happy little mistakes”! Thanks for the smile this morning. I love Show Me a Story. It is such a great tool. And the journal is beautiful-what a transformation! Thank you Suzy and Vivian.


  5. Show Me a Story is a great choice. What a wonderful way to introduce children to writing their own books. Great craft.


  6. I miss Bob Ross and his easy-going show. He inspired and relaxed at the same time. Thank you, Suzy, for sharing a favorite writing tool and fun craft.


  7. I am privileged to be able to work with 3rd and 4th graders each fall when they write their own picture books. The stories they come up with are wonderful. Reading with your kids, or in my case, grand kids, is so important. Thank you for the graph. I plan on sharing it with my 12 year old who thinks reading is boring.


  8. The graphic about reading is fantastic! Thanks for the cool info! And thank you for the rec about writing PBs. I’m going to take a look at it to see if I can use it in some way for our kids during library time. Thanks for filling in for Vivian, Suzy!


  9. The journal idea is so creative–I need to do this as I love journals and never can find the right one for a price I’d want to pay. It has to have cute animals on it and purple background. Now I can do it myself. My favorite mom memories are baking cookies with my kids, making pizza kits, and reading every night before bed. I’d always fall for the “just one more book!!!” cry.


  10. Suzy is all about craft, flowers and beautiful stuff. This is great! For a moment I thought it was a published book.


  11. Wow. I love the activity, the info-graph, and the book. Great choice. I would love to win a journal from Suzy – they are always so special!


  12. Very nice post Suzy! My daughters and I make journals like this every year and use them as “Mom & me journals.” They write to me in their journal, then the next post is me responding to them.


  13. Suzy makes the awesome-est journals! Great post; great pinch-hitter.


  14. Funny I should come home after dinner out with Niece, and her family and see this lovely post with Suzy of making a journal. We were just reminiscing at dinner about the times my Niece flew from Australia to spend school holidays with me and her Uncle, and how we used to decorate a scrap book with all her holiday photos and stories of what she had been doing, with the pages dotted in shells, and coloured drawings to take home and show and tell on her return to school. She loved doing it. Lovely post thank you ladies. .

    Liked by 1 person

    • And you are so lovely to share your memories of creating scrap books with your niece, Diane. I would think the special journals filled with photos, stories, and seashells will remind you both of your holidays together. Such a treasure.


  15. Great craft! I also love to craft. My cousin and I come up with a craft for seniors to do at our local senior center every Wednesday. They are just as amazing to work with as kids. I love notebooks, too, so this is right up my alley. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This reminds me of how I made a scrapbook as a kid. I still have it.

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Perfect Picture Book Friday: SHOW ME A STORY – WRITING YOUR OWN PICTURE BOOK Plus Giveaway | Through the Prairie Garden Gate

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