'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Review: It's A Story, Rory!

How do you start writing a story?

The word meta gets thrown around an awful lot these days. However, this is a good example of meta in action: it's a book about writing a book.

Milly the chicken knows all about storytelling.

She knows about narrators and genres, pacing and anticipation. She also knows how pictures can be used to show reactions and add layers to the story.

Milly explains the process of writing to Rory the fox in It's A Story, Rory!

'It starts with a blank page.' Then the author starts writing, creating characters, settings and a plot that draws the reader in.

Milly and Rory are depicted as they work through the writing and illustration process, in conversation with each other, and in character in scenes as Milly gives her explanation.

The illustrations are both informative and entertaining, depicting Milly as the hero, Sir Chicken Legs (complete with moustache and riding on a pig), and Rory as the heroine, Roryanna.

The characters are appealing and immensely expressive, which is more important than ever given they are specifically meant to explain storytelling.

It's a clever book, layering narration over a fairy tale in the making. The font for the overall narrative of It's A Story, Rory! is in one font, while the story being created by Milly and Rory is in a different font.

Frances Watts and David Legge have shared their collaborative storytelling with readers before, in stories like Parsley Rabbit's Book About Books, Captain Crabclaw's Crew, and The Fearsome, Frightening, Ferocious Box.  

It's A Story, Rory! is another fabulous book to add to this successful pairing.

It's highly recommended, whether you want a book to read for simple enjoyment, or one to be used as a tool for learning how to tell a story. 

Title: It's A Story, Rory!
Author: Frances Watts
Illustrator: David Legge
Publisher: ABC Books, $24.99
Publication Date: July 2018
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780733335938
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture book


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