A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers learn about the power of stories and imagination. They may become interested in learning more about the various environments shown: rainforest, desert, ocean, sky, and space.
Curiosity is celebrated. Books and reading spark imagination and learning. Family and home are places of comfort and security.
Positive Role Models
Alice overcomes her boredom and bad mood through reading with curiosity and imagination.
Author and illustrator Grace Lin, who is Taiwanese American, modeled Alice after her own daughter. Alice is an imaginative and multifaceted young child who experiences a range of feelings throughout the story, from boredom to curiosity to contentment. She appreciates both the excitement of adventure and the comfort of home.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Once Upon a Book by Caldecott and Newberry Honoree Grace Lin and Kate Messner is a clever and colorful celebration of books, reading, and imagination through the eyes of a young girl named Alice. The book features vibrant, gouache illustrations across two-page spreads and rhythmic text with repeated phrases. Alice's exploration of different environments (such as a rainforest and a desert) may spark families' interest in learning more about those places. Curiosity, imagination, and the warmth of family and home are highlighted.
Is It Any Good?
This beautifully illustrated picture book is a celebration of books and imagination. In Once Upon a Story, readers -- just like Alice -- will find their moods lifted by the power of reading and stories. There's so much to enjoy and savor in this book. Rhythmic text and repeated phrases along with complex, vibrant illustrations make it a joy to read aloud and share repeatedly. Alice's adventures in various environments will spark readers' curiosity. Readers will also enjoy the details in the illustrations, including the way Alice's dress blends into each environment. They can look for the white rabbit on each page, along with the main character's name, a hat tip to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Picture Books with Truly Amazing Illustrations
Caldecott Medal and Honor Books
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