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This Is a Good Story

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Parents’ Choice Recommended

“An imaginative and creative way of educating readers about effective storytelling and elements of style. Great for sharing one-on-one or in a language arts classroom.” —School Library Journal

“This tongue-in-cheek way of delivering the rules of creative writing is clever, and paired with Le Huche’s earnest, childlike illustrations, it seems to be aimed at giving helpful direction to aspiring young creators.” —Kirkus Reviews

From E.B. White Read Aloud author Adam Lehrhaupt comes an inspiring new picture book that takes apart the pieces of a story—hero, heroine, setting, conflict—and asks the reader to put the story back together again. This is a good story…or is it?

As a child takes her pencil and begins to draw pictures for a story, the narrator takes her and the reader through a rollicking sequence of events in this classic tale of bad guys and townsfolk and dungeons. With simplicity and flair, Adam tells a story and then a meta-story of the parts of the story at once! This Is a Good Story is a wonderful primer on the parts of a story and an imaginative way to encourage creative thinking, writing, and storytelling.

40 pages, Hardcover

First published September 12, 2017

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About the author

Adam Lehrhaupt

21 books93 followers
Adam Lehrhaupt is the award-winning author of Warning: Do Not Open This Book!, Please: Open This Book!, Chicken in Space (A six book series: Book 2 Chicken in School lands June 20, 2017), I Will Not Eat You and the upcoming I Don't Draw, I Color (March 21, 2016), Wordplay (July 2017), Idea Jar (Fall 2017), and This is a Good Story (Spring, 2018). He has traveled to six continents, performed on Broadway, and lived on a communal farm. He firmly believes that opening a book is a good thing, even if there are monkeys in it. Adam currently lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, with his wife, two sons, and two bizarre dogs. Follow Adam on twitter and Instagram @lehrhaupt for the occasional brilliant thought or picture, and at adamlehrhaupt.com.

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5 stars
51 (24%)
4 stars
80 (38%)
3 stars
57 (27%)
2 stars
16 (7%)
1 star
3 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 58 reviews
Profile Image for Tonja Drecker.
Author 3 books183 followers
September 20, 2017
Setting, plot, climax and other story terms come to life when accompanied by this lively and humorous adventure.

This picture book introduces the various parts of a story--hero/heroine, setting, climax, etc--while following a girl as she writes an adventure. But sometimes, not everything runs as smoothly as it should.

To make a 'good' story, several things are necessary. By following a small adventure from start to finish, the most vital parts of a tale are not only mentioned but used in an immediate example. The tale starts with the introduction of a hero and heroine, and goes on from there, hitting each story part as it should come. All along, an adventure is growing where the hero, heroine and even the villain throw in humorous spice of their own. It's cute, it's humorous and it flows well. But this isn't a book for the youngest listeners.

The text is held to short phrases on each spread, but that doesn't mean it's simple. There's the story part terminology, which is very clearly printed and stands in center point of the tale, but may be a bit too high of a concept for kids under age 5 or 6. To help out, there's also a quick glossary at the end. Some of the other vocabulary used might also be a little high for younger readers. As a story, the text is lacking, but as a guide to help learn the parts of a tale, it offers lots of room for open discussion or sudden questions. Older listeners might find the text on the childish side, though.

The play back and forth from text to illustrations is well done. The text carries the learning, while the illustrations run alongside with their own cute story. Humor ensues, which makes the drier aspects of the book much more fun, and is sure to draw a few smiles as those silly characters tend to run out of control. It's a simpler type of drawing, but never misses on details and brings everything across crystal clear.

Summed up, this is an entertaining way to discuss and learn about forming a story as well as what parts are crucial to make it good. Despite the small amount of text, it's not a concept that younger readers will easily grasp and would be better for those who already know how to read and write (so they can make their own story). As a learning tool, it's cute and sure to bring some giggles too.

I received a complimentary copy and enjoyed it enough to want to leave my honest thoughts.
Profile Image for Abigail.
7,113 reviews186 followers
November 30, 2019
As the narrator relates the tale of Hero and Heroine, the protagonists of a story set in Setting, a young girl draws away, providing the accompanying illustrations. The narrator however, is often unsatisfied with her artwork, and in a meta-fictional twist, directs her to improve this scene and that, until finally they end up with a good story. Or do they...?

Anyone familiar with the work of picture-book author Adam Lehrhaupt will recognize the blend of meta-fictional fun (think: Warning: Do Not Open This Book! ) and instructional narrative (seen also in: Wordplay ) to be found in This Is a Good Story. The entertaining tale is paired with colorful, fun artwork by French illustrator Magali Le Huche, while the author's afterword includes all the terms, from protagonist to climax, that a young would-be writer needs to get going. Recommended to anyone who enjoys more meta-fictional picture-books, and to those looking for children's tales which explains some of the basics, in terms of how to structure a story.
Profile Image for Kate Atherton.
225 reviews6 followers
October 3, 2022
It IS a good story! Great for teaching young readers, writers and artists terminology pertaining to stories such as protagonist, climax, conflict etc. Really charming, well laid out illustrations with interesting compositions and lots of little characters to look at. I would think this would inspire kids to write their own stories and draw them on GIANT sheets of paper like the protagonist in THIS book.
Profile Image for Becky.
5,198 reviews102 followers
September 30, 2017
First sentence: Our story begins with Hero. Or is it Heroine? Both? Yes, that works! Both. Let's try that again. Our story begins with Hero and Heroine. They live in a good town, filled with good people called our Setting. As with any Good Story, ours has a Conflict, a problem that needs fixing. And it's a good thing, too, because without a Conflict there would be no Plot. Our story would go nowhere.

Premise/plot: The narrator of this one is eager to help a little girl write a GOOD STORY.

My thoughts: I LOVE this one. The little girl is both author and illustrator. The narrator is teaching her about the elements of creative writing. Teaching by showing, not telling. It is a fun story about the creative process. It introduces some key terms, but, the educational value of the book doesn't distract from the entertainment value of the book. Will the evil overlord keep the townsfolk in his dungeon forever?! Will Hero and Heroine save the day?!

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 8 out of 10
Profile Image for Glenda.
633 reviews41 followers
September 23, 2017
A cute way to introduce children to the elements of fiction. The book includes a list of story terminology at the end. I appreciate the gender egalitarianism in this picture book.

A teaching idea: Pair w/ a hero epic such as “The Odyssey” for older students.
Profile Image for Cindy Hudson.
Author 15 books23 followers
October 31, 2017
Telling a good story means knowing how a story builds, with a protagonist, a plot, a conflict and more. Children often learn the elements of storytelling in school, where they have to write for classwork. But what if they could learn it earlier, in a way that makes them think of storytelling as fun? That’s the idea behind the picture book by Adam Lehrhaupt, This Is a Good Story.

The story begins with a girl creating a picture book with a hero and a heroine who live in a good town filled with good people. The plot heats up when an evil overlord attacks. A touch of whimsy is added when an omniscient reader gives the girl direction on what to draw and ideas on how to make her story better.

At the end, when the girl has finished her book to her own satisfaction, a list of the elements of story appears along with definitions. Pictures by Magali Le Huche are child-like, and it’s easy to picture young readers being inspired by both pictures and words to want to create their own picture books when they read this one. I expect parents and kids both will love it.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Jennie.
940 reviews
August 22, 2020
A fun story on how to write a story - Lehrhaupt introduces a boy and girl who team up write a story going through the key elements including the protagonist - a hero and a heroine (to keep them both happy) and a fantasy plot develops as they identify the setting, the tension, the climax etc in a story about a town that is attacked by an evil overlord. Expressive, childlike illustrations are a perfect to compliment the child storytellers.

This is a clever book that would prove useful in the classroom as a springboard for story writing. My only reservation is that some teachers may concerned that the tension results in a fight - with swords - though i am sure young readers won't care.

The interplay between the storytellers and the story, the remixing of story elements provide a good example of a post modern text. The tongue in cheek glossary at the end adds to this. The author provides teacher notes on his website http://adamlehrhaupt.com/teachers-gui...
Profile Image for Sheri Hoyte Books.
50 reviews1 follower
June 3, 2019
This is such a fun book that encourages young readers and future authors to write their own stories! The author takes all the elements of a story (setting, conflict, plot, etc.) and weaves them into a story about writing a story.

Overall I absolutely loved this book. It’s fun, it’s creative and will inspire the imagination of budding young authors! The age range listed on this book is 4-8 years. I’m thinking kids at the higher end of that range will enjoy it more, though the younger ones will definitely enjoy the lively, fast-action pictures!

Full review on www.sherihoytebooks.com
Profile Image for James Roberts.
Author 15 books18 followers
July 28, 2021
A very funny book, though maybe only adults will get the humor at first. Using this story, the author introduces young readers to terms like plot, setting , protagonist, etc.. This would be a great book to give to a young, aspiring writer. Within the story are all the major elements a good story should have. I think it's very clever and the type of book kids would read over and over again. The illustrations are lively, colorful and with a childlike charm, almost as if the kids are drawing them as the story moves along. A lot of fun and educational too.
Profile Image for Jana.
2,590 reviews37 followers
October 6, 2017
Here’s a fun picture book to use as a way to teach about the parts of a story. With colorful, childlike drawings and humorous text, the narrator of the text directs the writer/illustrator to create a “good story” with a hero and a heroine and a conflict. From there, the book seems to take on a life of its own. This could serve as a good mentor text to help young writers develop their own good stories.
Profile Image for Carol Royce Owen.
970 reviews14 followers
October 10, 2017
Here's a great story to help teach the elements of a story such as setting, conflict, plot, climax... (the book includes a glossary of the elements taught). This coincides with a child writing a story with a hero and heroine, and as the story unwinds and the protagonist is introduced decisions are made to improve the story and keep it moving forward. Cleverly done.
Profile Image for Jess.
2,452 reviews25 followers
November 18, 2017
While this is definitely a book that'll get used by teachers (tell your friends teaching story elements), it doesn't leave that awful "ugh, this was written to use for projects" taste in your mouth. It's useful but it's fun and funny! It's for kids and they'll like reading it.

Great illustrations. Successfully shows how multiple attempts/drafts are necessary when writing. Yep, good stuff.
Profile Image for Amy Goldstein.
239 reviews2 followers
January 24, 2018
In this clever book, the narrator guides an unnamed girl as she writes a story. Using words like setting, plot, character and climax, the reader is introduced to elements of a story. In the end, a satisfying story is told with room for a possible sequel! This book reminded me of Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude.
Profile Image for Kristin.
1,112 reviews30 followers
November 5, 2017
This would be a great book to support children's creative writing highlighting the essential part of a story (i.e. characters, setting, climax), while also showing the importance of feedback and revision.
Profile Image for Jessie.
1,949 reviews26 followers
January 8, 2018
This introduces the elements of a story through a girl drawing/writing a story, with liberal breaking of the fourth wall.

It talks about heroes and heroines, plot, conflict, and setting. Protagonist and antagonist are defined at the end, but not in the text.
Profile Image for Jo Oehrlein.
6,272 reviews9 followers
February 4, 2018
A book to teach some of the beginning vocabulary of literary analysis -- hero, heroine, setting, plot, conflict, and climax.

We see a girl creating the story, with some backtracking. The narrator appears to be separate from the girl and give her advice/corrections.
Profile Image for Francis Thibeault.
1,056 reviews25 followers
August 17, 2018
Un album qui décrit de manière ludique les différentes caractéristiques définissant une bonne histoires: personnages, contexte, conflit, péripéties et dénouement. Un bel album à exploiter en classe pour aborder la trame narrative...
19 reviews2 followers
November 5, 2018
This Is a Good Story is a brilliant way to introduce students to story elements. A little girl who is writing a story explains, as she goes, how to add elements like setting, plot, conflict and climax to make a story a really good story.
Fantastic for 1-3 graders.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
1,184 reviews4 followers
January 14, 2020
The book was clever, but fell flat for me. The protagonist is trying to tell a story, with setting, plot and characters. It might work in a classroom setting....but not for a sit at home read a loud.
Profile Image for Emma.
2,893 reviews352 followers
June 13, 2017
I don't know. It's simultaneously too much text and too little. Not sure how this would work as a read-a-loud.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
55 reviews
August 30, 2017
Cute fiction picture book with a pretty good introduction to how stories work, or as the title implies, how good stories work.
Profile Image for Ms. Jeane.
253 reviews4 followers
October 10, 2017
This is a really good teachers book because it teaches what plot, setting, conflict, protagonist (although they say hero or heroine in this book) and much more!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 58 reviews

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