Opening Lines in Picture Books
Henny by Elizabeth Rose Stanton
Henny was not a typical chicken. Henny was born with arms.
Crankenstein by Samantha Berger
Have you seen Crankenstein? Oh, you would totally know if you had.
You would say, Good Morning!!! How are you?
Crankenstein would say, MEHHRRRR!
Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow
One bright fall day, Sophie chose a squash at the farmer's market.
Her parents planned to serve it for supper, but Sophie had other ideas.
Maple by Lori Nichols
Maple loved her name.
When she was still a whisper, her parents planted a tiny tree in her honor!
And even though Flavia, Millie Jane, Lena, Lily, and Constance were all good names...
Maple was the perfect fit.
The Good-Pie Party by Liz Garton Scanlon
Posy Peyton doesn't want to move.
She doesn't want to pack her books or take down her bird feeder or undecorate her secret clubhouse. And she really doesn't want to say good-bye.
How To Clean Your Room in 10 Easy Steps by Jennifer LaRue Huget
Welcome to my room. You will notice that it is very clean. I'm going to show you how you can clean yours, too. The first thing we need is a messy room. The messier, the better.
Love Monster by Rachel Bright
This is a monster. (Hello, Monster.) I think you'll agree he's a little bit funny-looking. To say the least. He lives in a world of cute, fluffy things.
Which makes being funny-looking...
pretty, darn hard.
Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester
Poor Wodney. Wodney Wat. His real name was Rodney Rat. But he couldn’t pronounce his Rs. To make matters worse, he was a rodent. A wodent.
Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester
There once was a penguin. His home was a nice icy land he shared with his companions. His companions were named Goodly, Lovely, Neatly, Angel, and Perfect. His name was Tacky. Tacky was an odd bird.
Princess in Training by Tammi Sauer
Viola Louise Hassenfeffer was not an ordinary princess. She spent her time karate chopping, diving into the moat, and skateboarding up and down the drawbridge. Zip Zup Zoom.
Nugget and Fang by Tammi Sauer
In the deep, deep ocean lived two best friends. Nugget and Fang. They did everything together. They swam over. Glug. They swam under. Glug. Glug. They swam all around. (Glug Glug Glug) until it was time for Nugget to go to school.
Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el
Crispin Blaze was born into a proud family of fire breathing dragons. “Every Blaze breaths fire,” explained his father. “I breathe fire. Your mother breathes fire. Tomorrow, when you turn seven, you will breathe fire too.”
Unlovable by Dan Yaccarino
Alfred was unlovable. At least that’s what the cat told him every chance he got. “You’ve got the ugliest mug I’ve ever seen. No one could love you.”
Say Hello to Zorro by Carter Goodrich
Mister Bud had it pretty good. Everything was just right. He had his own house. His own bed. His own toys. His own dish. But most of all… He had his own schedule. And everybody stuck to the schedule.
Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
Molly Lou Melon stood taller than her dog and was the shortest girl in the first grade. She didn’t mind. Her grandma had told her, “Walk as proudly as you can and the world will look up to you.”
Chicken Big by Keith Graves
On a teeny little farm, in an itty-bitty coop, a very small hen laid a big, humongous egg. (Bok!)
The egg began to shake. The egg began to quake. Out popped a big, humongous chick.
“What is it?” crowed the rooster.
“It’s big!” clucked the small chicken.
“It’s enormous!” clucked the smaller chicken.
“It’s an elephant!” peeped the smallest chicken. (She was not the sharpest beak in the flock.)
“He’s too big to stay in our itty-bitty coop,” crowed the little rooster.
“Much, much too big,” clucked the small chicken.
“He’ll break the floor!” clucked the smaller chicken.
“Indoor elephants are dangerous!” squawked the smallest chicken.
“I don’t feel like an elephant,” thought the big chick.
Sign: No Elephants Allowed!
“I wish I were a chicken.”
7/20/2014 11:54:52 pm
It is interesting reading just the opening lines and seeing how well they hooked me into wanting to know more of the story. I can see I need to work hard on my opening lines. Thank you Ladies.
7/21/2014 12:10:21 am
Thanks for the great post and sharing some very familiar and not so familiar.
7/21/2014 12:43:35 am
Thank you Mandy.
7/21/2014 03:14:14 am
There are some great openings, here! The only one of these I've read is Sophie's Squash. Now I want to read them all! :-)
7/21/2014 06:32:16 am
Thanks for a great post. It's so interesting to read first lines in isolation.
7/21/2014 08:36:53 am
I love this post Mandy. Thanks for sharing these! Very inspiring.
7/21/2014 08:49:07 am
Thanks for these great examples! I have long loved Wodney Wat--especially to read aloud.
7/21/2014 11:57:33 pm
These are great examples of first lines Mandy - thanks for this post!
8/1/2014 11:25:42 am
Great examples Mandy! I loved this post!
8/20/2022 06:39:09 am
Introduction of story and characters are the most important parts of any picture book.For beginners, it is very hard to make kids interested in reading a book when you can't interest them with the beginning of story. So, opening lines in picture books will also be one of the points to pay attention to that would help you as an author.
11/23/2022 07:04:59 am
Most picture books have a basic structure – it starts with a character who is introduced as an infant and gradually grows up as the text progresses. This article will be a look at some common opening lines from famous children's picture books, how they were written and why I like them so much. Opening lines are an important part of picture books as they set up the situation, provide some kind of context, and give readers a clue to what the text will be about.
12/2/2022 03:32:39 am
Picture books are picture books. That's it. They're meant to be read and not spoken, sometimes even whispered. But there are certain opening lines that work better than others. If the words in my picture book did anything, they would be encouraging, but this guide is actually going to teach you how to write opening lines that will make people want to keep reading on.
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