Debbie Glade shares with us how she can relate to a story about a very young boy with a blank sheet of paper.
Ralph Tells a Story ($16.99, Amazon Children’s Publishing, Ages 6 and up) written and illustrated by Abby Hanlon is a darling little book fit for young readers, but I found it to be equally as applicable for adult writers like me. I could write volumes about writer’s block. Now wait a minute. That sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?
Ralph’s teacher asks her students to each write a story. But for Ralph, that’s easier said than done. You see, nothing ever happens to Ralph, so he simply cannot think of anything to write about – or at least that’s what he thinks. He wracks his brain, stares at the ceiling, crawls on the floor, and his blank paper just sits there waiting for him to write something on it – anything on it! When Ralph is called to the front of the class by the teacher, all he can do is nervously blurt out, “I was at the park. An inchworm crawled on my knee.” What follows that turns out to be a wonderful solution to Ralph’s writer’s block.
This book teaches young readers that it’s normal to find it challenging to get started writing. Professional writers who have been writing their entire lives experience the writing block monster here and there, and sometimes everywhere. It’s a real live problem all writers know all to well!!! But Ralph’s experience is proof that we can work through that often cruel, frustrating block and create wonderful stories to be read, shared and treasured. You’ll find the simple cartoon-like illustrations to be a delightful addition to the story.
So go ahead and buy a copy of this book for your child, or maybe even the adult in your life who longs to write but fears the wrath of the ugly writer’s block monster.