Literacy Milestone: Using Cliches/Expressions
The Magic Word: Mac Barnett and Elise Parsley

I Am A Story: Dan Yaccarino

Book: I Am A Story
Author: Dan Yaccarino
Pages: 40
Age Range: 4-8


I Am A Story, a new picture book by Dan Yaccarino, is the story of, well, the story. Yaccarino begins with the earliest stories, presumably told around campfires by early human tribes. He moves on through cave paintings, hieroglyphics, tapestries, and, eventually, books. Going further, he notes that although stories have been censored, banned, and even burned, the story itself will never die. 

The text in I Am A Story is minimal. Like this (over several pages):

"I was written on papyrus
and printed with ink and woodblocks,
then woven into tapestries
and copied into big books to illuminate minds."

The illustrations, with recognizable Dan Yaccarino-style people, reveal more of the details than are addressed in the text. For example, the "woven into tapestries" page spread shows a king strutting past a tapestry, his cloak held up by a small page. Several suits of armor line the hallway. In one, eyes are visibly following the young page. Wall sconces with flames provide lighting. A small orange bird is seen in each illustration, either alive or as part of a tapestry or other element. The recipients of stories (often children) are shown generally happy. 

This is a book for a parent or teacher to read with kids, I think, so that the context of these various methods of capturing stories can be explained a bit. I Am A Story reminded me a bit of the Spaceship Earth ride at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World, which explores the history of communication. However, I Am A Story focuses more narrowly on the need of humans to share stories, and the various ways in which this has been accomplished over many years.   

I Am A Story is a celebration of the power of, and necessity of, story, one that few librarians will be able to resist. Recommended for library or home use by anyone who loves history and/or stories. 

Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books (@HarperChildrens
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2016 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).