cover image The Story of a Story

The Story of a Story

Deborah Hopkinson, illus. by Hadley Hooper. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4491-5

A spare lyricism pervades this poetic picture book about writing by Hopkinson, which follows a light brown–skinned child attempting to pen a story on a snowy day. Arriving at a cottage with physical objects (“a pencil or two,/ a big eraser,/ your favorite pencil sharpener,/ and a snack”) and metaphysical attributes (“your mind and heart,/ your endless curiosity), the child shucks off their winter clothing and sits down in front of a window to write, a dog at their side. As the child experiences writing struggles (“nothing much happens”) and inspiration (“And that’s when you notice.../ ...the chickadee”), Hooper’s doodle-esque illustrations, rendered in pen, ink, and paint and finished digitally, show the process against ample white space. A gentle, luminous exploration for aspiring writers. Back matter features a guide for readers to begin their own stories, and a link to more information on black-capped chickadees. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)