For today’s Marvelous Picture Book Monday, I have chosen I Am A Story, written and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. This book was published in 2016 by HarperCollins Children’s Books and is recommended for ages 4-8. It is told in the first person narrative by a story itself.
I was immediately drawn to this book in the children’s books section of Barnes & Noble because of the cover. Glossy purple characters and a bright orange fire seem to leap off the page in contrast to the dark, star-covered background. Upon further inspection, the rest of the pages had the same beautiful use of color and the illustrations gave off a very modern feel.
Yaccarino uses this novel to follow the use of stories throughout history, and the different mediums people have used to tell and retell them. Readers are brought through the prehistoric era as cavemen and women draw on walls all the way to modern day people checking out books at a public library. This book enables children to draw many fascinating connections to what they know about the history of our world, along with the various cultures within it. Readers see Egyptians painting on pyramids and powerful Kings admiring stories woven into beautiful tapestries.
Not only does this story allow children to explore how stories have been told, but the powerful effect that a story can have. Stories can make people happy, sad, excited, scared, or any combination of emotions. They are inspiring and follow us everywhere.
Yaccarino did a fantastic job of portraying a story as something that is universal, which fosters communication and builds relationships between people. Her personified it, enabling readers to see all the ways it has changed and developed, just as people do. After a child reads I Am A Story, they will no longer think of a story simply as the words inside of a book.
Posted by: McKenzie Scott