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Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One
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Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  156 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Penelope and her Aunt Isabel make up an exciting bedtime story about the adventures of Prince Augustus and Lady Penelope.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published August 1st 1994 by Puffin Books (first published 1992)
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May 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I got this book at a garage sale when I was 5 years old for a quarter. Since then, it has been my favorite picture book. The review here somewhat disappoint me though, as no one has really adequately communicated that this book is truly fantastic. It's not fantastic because it tells what goes into a great story (although it does), it is fantastic because it is itself a great story. I'm sure it's good for teaching, but independent of that it is such an endearing and captivating tale. It is much m ...more
Nov 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Such a good book for discovering the elements of a well-written story.
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was ok

Lexile: AD610L
AR Level: 0.5 pts
Chris March
Feb 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, picture
The story checks many boxes that I like to see addressed in stories I read to my nearly 3 year old daughter, but in checking so many boxes, it ends up feeling like a todo list. I will continue reading her stories such as this, but I hope to find some that feel like they exist because they are inspired, and not because the boxes needed to be checked.

Courageous, clever heroine? Check. Intelligent, nurturing, adult female character? Check. Bechdel Test? Check. Character for self-identification for
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was recommended by and I'm always looking for books that will have a positive influence on Sophie and Annabelle's lives. I can't wait to read this one to Sophie! It's a story within a story as Penelope's Aunt Isabel not only tells a good one, but explains every step of her story-creating process. The heroine of Aunt Isabel's story, Lady Nell, is also a terrific heroine - smart as a whip and fearless. And finally, the illustrations are super - colorful, whimsical, and cha ...more
Shoshana G
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Aunt Isabel tells her niece, Penelope, a bedtime story. While they make up the story together, the reader is introduced to some basic concepts of storytelling: you need a Who and a Where and some sort of Problem. Villains and Danger can make a story more interesting. And after a story is finished, you can still keep going because you can always add more!

It's a little long - probably better for 4+.
Apr 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is such a great book, every time I read it. For all of the people looking for wonderfully complimentary illustrations, they're here. For everyone looking for a basic understanding of how to build a story, it's here. For those searching for a great leading heroine, here she is. And for everyone else that just wants a great story to read to yourself or the kids around you that want to be entertained, read this. It's absolutely worth it.
The Brothers
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
An interesting plot device - an aunt and her niece work together to come up with a story. Through the tale, we're drawn back to the fact that it's being made up by these two. I like how the aunt outlines the things a good story needs: Who, Where, Romance, a Problem, a little Danger.

Cute illustrations.
Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Instead of just telling a story, Aunt Isabel sets out to explain HOW she tells a story, as she does it. And she does, fairly competently (and without sounding too didactic, something which always turns me off a book), but the result is that this is a fairly wordy book, save it for the older end of the 4 - 8 age range.
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I bought this book about 25 years ago. It is such a sweet story. I've used it in my creative writing class to show what a child's story should be. The ingredients according to this book are: a when and a where, but not too scary, with something cheerful, a who, and a problem. The illustrations are delightful and I love that there is a strong female lead.
Cordellya Smith
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is very creative. I love the way it is structured so that the child who is being told the story is an active participant in creating it. I can see teachers in primary school using this story in the classroom to teach children about the structure of narratives.
Mar 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Another example of metafiction—a picture book about some aspect of picture books—that gives a very basic lesson on narrative structure, especially on the need for struggle so that the happy ending feels emotionally satisfying for a reader/listener.
I love this book. Penelope and her grandmother are charming. The illustrations are delightful. Grandmother builds a lovely adventure story with Penelope's help. Works nicely as a writing prompt or key to how stories work.
Dec 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
This is a good book for teaching writing.
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-nora
My niece and I really enjoyed this story and the illustrations were very nice. It's a rather simple story but she enjoyed it all the same.
Sarah Stumphf
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this to my two year old son last night. I don't know about him, but I really enjoyed this little story! Cute, imaginative, one Aunt makes up a story with the help of her young niece.
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One
Duke, Kate
a little girls aunt tells a story to r as she is getting ready to bed
introduces setting, characters, problem, building suspense/danger,s solution--all with a strong female protagonist.
Joshua Altmanshofer
Charming little book. All the right ingredients. Great for teaching the storytelling side of the writing process.

May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
So cute. Strong female character and teaches "the ingredients" to making a good story.
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great book for teaching writing process to kids.
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this when I was younger. It has all the makings of a great story. :)
A great picture book that can be used to teach any age student the elements of a good story: setting (time and place), character traits, plot, conflict, etc.
Arlene Allen
Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Another picture book I couldn't let go of when Sara got "too old" for picture books. Great story, fiesty heroine.
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is so clever and creative. I bought it to read to my future niece/nephew and gave it to my sister for her book themed baby shower.
Kaitlyn McAvoy
rated it liked it
Jul 11, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Mar 21, 2011
Mell Simons
rated it it was amazing
Mar 04, 2015
rated it really liked it
Jun 12, 2012
rated it really liked it
Jan 17, 2017
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Duke was born in New York City on August 1, 1956. She had said that reading was a favorite pastime all through childhood, and in an interview for Something About the Author noted that Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy was a fictional character she modeled, right down to keeping tabs on the people in her neighborhood. “I think I owe Harriet my first conscious awareness of the act of writing as impo ...more