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The Stories Julian Tells
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The Stories Julian Tells (Julian)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  438 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Julian is a quick fibber and a wishful thinker. And he is great at telling stories. He can make people—especially his younger brother, Huey—believe just about anything. Like the story about the cats that come in the mail. Or the fig leaves that make you grow tall if you eat them off the tree. But some stories can lead to a heap of trouble, and that's exactly where Julian a ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published January 21st 1989 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published 1981)
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Barb Middleton
This book has “disappeared” twice in my four years as librarian at this school. That’s unusual in itself, but when the illustration on the cover is ugly and it still “disappears” then I know I have to read it.

The Stories Julian Tells, by Ann Cameron, is 20 years old and while it has a forgettable cover, it is a gem inside with terrific writing, characterizations, and plot.

Julian and his younger brother, Huey, get in trouble with their dad when they eat most of the pudding the three have made for
Julian and his little brother Huey are full of imagination that sometimes gets them into tight spots with their parents, but kids and adults will admire the courage with which they explore new ideas and experiences. This series is one of few gentle, positive portrayals of growing up black in America. The parents are individual characters with humor and imagination themselves. Any family would enjoy this series, which is targeted for seven to 12 year olds, but families of color (like mine) will e ...more
Ronda Fox
I read The Stories Julian Tells for a third grade class. Julian is African America, which is nice to see in elementary books because ti is fairly not too common. The stories mainly take place around Julian, his little brother named Huey, and their parent; the final story is Julian and his new friend Gloria. There is a strong loving relationship among the characters in this realistic fiction, but the boys do tease and trick each other like many real siblings. These are heartwarming stories. The s ...more
Amanda Harris
Julian tells many stories, some are exaggerations, some are fibs, and some are the whimsical perspective of Julian and how he sees life. However, all are in good fun and leave you with a smile on your face. I especially love the story about Julian's tooth being loose and his dad offering many ways to help it out. I feel like all kids can relate to these stories and that's why it will never go out of style! I read this book as a child and reread it as an adult. I remember really liking the book a ...more
Jacqui Robbins
I read this aloud to my daughter today and was reminded of how fantastic it is. We both laughed out loud, the writing is concise and poetic on a level kids can appreciate, and the ending is just so satisfying. It always makes me want pudding like a night on the sea.
This was a chapter book read-aloud suggestion from my (amazing) public library, and it was perfect for my 4 & 5 year old boys. Their relationship and shenanigans are so similar to Julian's and his brother Huey's, and the boys were rapt with small, knowing smiles as I read. Cameron understands the the minds of 4-7 year old little boys: covertly messing with one's brother, teasing fathers looming large for much-needed guidance, getting fixated on one new thing or idea (a garden!), making frien ...more
This is not a book I would have chosen based on the cover, but it turned out to be a really cute book! Each of the chapters is a self-contained short story about a boy named Julian and his family. What I loved about this book is that my five-year-old related so well to Julian and his experiences, from helping to make pudding to losing a tooth. He has even referred to some of the stories several days after reading them ("This pudding tastes like a raft of lemons," "When my tooth gets really lose, ...more
2nd-4th Grade
Ann Cameron weaves six stories into this begining chapter book with the main charecter of Julian. He and his brother Huey are involved in adventures that can relate to many children. When they eat all of their Fathers lemon pudding and just know that they will be severly punished, their Fathers' only punishment is to make a new batch and the compassion that he has for them knowing they just could not resist eating that pudding is charming. The imagination that Julian has and the way
Jessica Sheaffer
The Stories Julian Tells, is a compilation of six short stories written by Ann Cameron. The stories are told from the perspective of a young boy named Julian, whose mischief and imagination lead him to experience tender lessons about life. The book does not contain many illustrations. Ann Cameron uses whimsical similes like, “It (the pudding) will taste like a whole raft of a night on the sea,” to paint vivid pictures in the reader’s mind. The Stories Julian Tells, features themes ...more

I think this book is a great one for beginning readers. The language is simple and straightforward, but the stories are entertaining. The topics found in the books are ones that any boy could encounter. The first story found is one about the father making a pudding for the mother. Both of the boys do what any boy would and they sneak fingerfulls of the pudding. There is a simple lesson taught about following directions when the father makes the boys make another pudding (which is har
Mar 26, 2014 Luisa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I love these stories!! My favorites are the first one, in which Julian's dad make a delicious lemon pudding--I can almost taste it as I read. I love the catalog cats story, too. It was fun to re-read this for a grad school class on children's literature, since I loved it as a child.
In this series of short stories great for transitional readers, Julian loves to tell stories, even when they get him in trouble, and his favorite mark for his tall-tales? His younger brother, Huey. Despite the harmless mischief Julian's fibs cause, the family depicted is close, loving, and warm.
An interesting conglomeration of stories. Some have lessons, some don't. But overall a good read. One of my kiddos's critical thinking reads. :)
Amy Kannel
Really charming and delightful. Lots shorter than I expected (more like the length of five or six picture books rather than a chapter book). I loved the father's gentle, playful parenting. I hope there are more books about Julian and his family--I will definitely look for some!
My kids LOVE this book. And I love that they can see themselves in lit: a black protagonist in a book that's not about being black!
Maria Francescon
Don't know how I missed these books with my first son, but my second son, four going on five, couldn't get enough of these stories after they were recommended in a Jim Trelease book on reading aloud. Perfect for kindergarteners who are making their first school friends, these stories are universal lessons of friendship, families, kindnesses and hurts that we all learn as small children. Don't know why these aren't as classic as the Beverly Cleary books or My Father's Dragon series, but should ce ...more
Recommended by one of my second graders - he loved it!
Jean Ann
Stories that Julian Tells, beautifully written by Anne Cameron, introduces us to Julian and his loving family. Julian’s vivid imagination takes the reader on several adventures. Julian, for example, tells the story of how his father ‘punishes’ him for eating his mother’s lemon pudding, how his very strange tooth earns him some cash, and finally, how he longs for Gloria to be his best friend. Told from Julian’s point of view, readers will enjoy his take on the world and will gladly go along for t ...more
Jenny Mock
Great storytelling!
The references to beatings and whippings (chapter 1) would have been more accepted years ago. It did make me uncomfortable, but I knew the outcome was not the harsh one suggested. I wasn't sure my 6-year-old even knew the meaning of the words. I discovered that he did and he was also predicting the play on words. All chapters produced giggles from my 9 and 6-year olds. Julian and little brother Huey are cleverly portrayed--likable and relatable.
"My father is a big man with wild black hair. When he laughs, the sun laughs in the window-panes. When he thinks, you can almost see his thoughts sitting on all the tables and chairs. When he is angry, me and my little brother Huey shiver to the bottom of our shoes.

'What kind of pudding will you make?' Huey said.

'A wonderful pudding,' my father said. 'It will taste like a whole raft of lemons. It will taste like a night on the sea.'"
Christopher Huff
I think Julian really tells stories a lot. Like one when he lied and said a catalog is when cats pop out when you open it. His brother cried because of the cats didn't come. Julian stood up all night thinking about the cats. Three times he did. Another one is he said he wen't outside and the pudding was gone when he and his brother really ate it he had to watch it. Julian meet a girl and wanted them to be best friends.
My children and I loved getting to know Julian and his family. This book stands out from similar short novels for young children for the whimsy and respect with which the young character's lives are portrayed. It is refreshing also to discover that Julian's father posesesses wisdom, playfulness, and real emotion in equal measure. The language is simple, but quite lovely and even lyrical in places.
Great bedtime read-aloud for my 4&9 yo girls. They loved it!
Goge (BARRONS) le Moning Maniac,
A Pudding Like a Night on the Sea

DAD: “I’m going to make something special for your mother,” my father said.
JULIAN: “What are you going to make?” I said.
DAD “A pudding,” he said.
HUEY“What kind of pudding will you make?”
DAD: “A wonderful pudding. It will taste like a whole raft of lemons. It will taste like a night on the sea.”
This is another cute book where the young protagonist makes assumptions about the world, is corrected, and learns important lessons along the way. The benefit is that the main character comes from an African American family and provides a perspective that shows kids (especially white ones) that families are families regardless of their color.
I'm always taken aback when reading children's books that mention beatings and whipping-- even though this book uses them with wordplay, it's not really a conversation I want to have with my 5 year old at this point. There are other books to read.

The other stories were cute (catalog cats :)) but neither of us were wowed overall.
Delightful stories about truth-telling many beginning readers will relate to. I love that these are stories about boys and their father, a nice change of pace, and though they were written some time ago the stories are still relevant because they are so domestic and true to the lives of children.
This book is primarily wonderful because I believe that its target audience can genuinely read it and relate to it. It tells the stories of Julian, a black boy. The stories aren't as connected as one might want, but there is a loose connection. Recommended for third-graders.
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Ann Cameron grew up in Wisconsin. Today, she and her husband live in Guatemala. From her house she can see a waterfall and three volcanoes. Ann Cameron has been a teacher and an editor as well as a writer.

She says that writing is hardest for her at the beginning of a book. To get started, she follows this important rule for writing: "Apply seat of pants to bottom of chair."
More about Ann Cameron...
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