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Show Me A Story (+ Giveaway!!!)

If you know me personally, you know about the fiction trilogy I hope to one day pen. I’ve had the idea for several years now, and it’s moved from a rather vague, nebulous concept to one with substance and shape and intention. During a conversation about my book idea the other day with some friends, I mentioned how I kind of feel like I’m waiting for Huxley to become old enough to work on the books with me. I have this inclination that our boy has some pretty great ideas simmering in his little noggin’, and would be a wonderful conspirator for names of characters, plot twists, and more.

I love the concept of storytelling with children. A friend of ours here in Asheville puts his two daughters to bed every night by weaving them a story he creates on the spot. As his girls age, I’m sure they’ll get on board with the stories’ creation, much like I intend to do with Huxley.

In honor of children and storytelling, today I’m sharing a giveaway with you of Emily Neuburger’s new book Show Me A Story: Craft Projects and Activities to Spark Children’s Storytelling. Emily’s wonderful book is filled with 40 creative ideas to inspire young minds to craft stories. From story stones they make and place in a storytelling jar, to journaling exercises, the book is rife with starting points for children to use in storytelling .

A teacher and crafter herself, Emily knows firsthand what she’s writing about, and has developed time-honored methods for igniting imaginative thinking. There’s something here for kids ages 5-12, so little minds have a lengthy time span for turning to Show Me A Story again and again.

I’d like to give away a copy of Emily’s book to one small measure reader. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below, telling me your favorite childhood story. It can be one you read, one that someone read to you, or one you created yourself. I remember particularly loving The Wind In the Willows as a child. I saw it recently in a local bookstore and became really excited by the idea of reading it to Huxley someday in the near future.

I’ll run the giveaway for one week, ending next Tuesday, October 9th, at midnight EST. In your comment, please leave a means of contacting you, should you be the winner. That can be done via either a link back to your own blog or website, by leaving your email address in your reply, or, if you’d like to keep your email private, by sending me your contact information in an email to ashleyadamsenglish(at)gmail(dot)com after you’re commented.

Even if you don’t win, I hope you’ll check out Show Me A Story. Not only is it full of stellar ideas for children’s storytelling, it’s a truly lovely book, too. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a yarn I need to go spin my little guy…..

84 Responses to Show Me A Story (+ Giveaway!!!)

  • Stefanie says:

    My favorite book growing up was The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural by Patricia McKissack. My mother would take me on a hike at dusk through a forest to an old graveyard, and we would sit on a fallen tree, where she would read the spooky stories to me by flash light. It was more than a book to me, it was an experience of the highest order. I can’t wait until my daughter is a little bit older, so I can do the same with her.
    This book looks fantastic! Even if I don’t win, I’ll likely have to pick it up!

  • Kristin Marsh says:

    My favorite childhood book was A Wrinkle in Time.

  • Larkin says:

    My father made up stories on the spot, too. He’d start a new one each week to keep the same characters for a short period of time. When I was little, I never realized he was making this up. My imagination let me believe that it was a true story, whether or not dogs could really speak! I would love to give this book to my sweet niece- she has the perfect imagination for this and would love this inspiration!

  • Emry says:

    My favorite book growing up was My Great Aunt Arizona by Gloria Houston. The author is a family friend, so it was a special book in my family. The illustrations are beautiful, and I’ve always enjoyed tales from our WNC mountains.

  • Sarah M says:

    This looks wonderful! My favorite story as a small child was “Little Bear” :)
    Sarah M

  • Rachel says:

    I loved “The Little House on the Prairie” series when I was younger. My oldest daughter is now 7 and enjoys these books as much as I did!

  • Beth says:

    A book I loved as a child is one called The Haunted Hound by Robb White. It was read aloud to my 4th grade class during our library time and I loved it. I wish I could find a copy of it, but it is out of print, very hard to find, and expensive! My favorite books to read aloud to my children when they were young were the Alfie books by Shirley Hughes. Absolutely loved to sweet stories and illustrations. I also loved books illustrated by Tasha Tudor. Show Me a Story looks wonderful. I would love to share it with my daughter and 3 year old granddaughter! Thanks for a wonderful giveaway and all the best with your writing.

    • Becky says:

      My favorite stories were the little house books. I think i wore a sunbonnet for an embarrassingly long portion of my childhood!
      Thanks for the lovely giveaway chance.

  • Erin V says:

    I loved all of Judy Blume’s books as a child. I am excited to start reading chapter book aloud to our son and delve into some classics with him.

  • My very favorite book as a child and even now is “The House on the Edge of Things” by Ethel Cook Eliot. It was my mother’s mad was written in1923. It is hard to find but worth seeking out as are her other books, “The House above the Trees” and “The Little House in the Fairy Woods”. All are full of wonderful characters like rain goblins, wind children and mysterious red leaf woman.

  • Angie says:

    My fun loving, imaginative aunt would always tell me stories of a family of quirky turtles that would have great adventures around the globe. We called the stories “Travels with Turtles”. I’ve always sort of thought about one day making them into a children’s book.

  • Jenn B says:

    I loved listening to stories as a child. I hope my children feel the same way! Time seems to slow down just a bit when I’m reading to making up stories with my kids. :)

  • Sara says:

    Wow, it is hard to think of just one story that I loved as a child. When I was just starting to read, though, I remember loving the Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer. I would choose one from my book order every time it was available!

  • stephanie says:

    I absolutely loved the Indian in the Cupboard. I so look forward to reading chapter books to my little girl! Wonderful giveaway, thank you!

  • Megan says:

    My favorite book was Wind and the Willows as well! I have so many memories of sitting with both my mom and dad, reading it a little bit each night. And then, when we finished I always wanted to read it again!

  • Jill Adams says:

    I loved, “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. That book is sweet.

  • kimpeck says:

    my favorite books growing up (and it’s hard to choose because i was, and still am, a huge reader) were the nancy drew books. it was even better when my mom could read a few chapters to me. thankfully, my 3 kids are also avid readers, although each with their own varied tastes. Show Me a Story looks so wonderful! Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Jeana G says:

    One of my favorites was Bridge to Terabithia!

  • Sarah R says:

    It’s so hard to choose a favorite, because I was a complete bookworm, but I do remember a particular love for Richard Scarry’s I am a Bunny as a very small child. When I was a bit older I looooved Nancy Drew novels and Elizabeth Enright’s Gone-Away Lake books.

  • Janna says:

    Favorite children’s book as a child: Anne of Green Gables. Favorite children’s book as an adult: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.

  • Nicki Germain says:

    As a child, my parents read to us at bed time each night. My favorite book was full of poems, stories and folktales. My sister gifted a copy of the same book to my son when he was 2 years old. So, yes, it was my favorite book to read to my son and daughter (Renai Mielke) too . Our book is currently tucked away for safe keeping while my kids (now in their late 20’s) settle into their lives and my husband and I are out sailing around on our boat. Someday, it will be back out on a shelf for easy access to read to the next generation. (wish I could recall the title to share with you!)

  • Leanna says:

    The first book read-on-my-own book that I remember *loving* was Caroline and her Kettle Named Maud, which is about a pioneer girl who gets a kettle (instead of a gun like all her brothers) but still uses her kettle to fend off a wolverine. I read it so many times. Then all the Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew mysteries, the Little House books, plus so many more.

  • Nerissa says:

    All of my childhood I shared a bedroom with my sisters. Before we went to sleep my older sister would usually tell us a story. When she learned about the Titanic in school she told us about it and I begged her to re tell that story over and over again. She would start with the submarines discovering the wreck then move on to what actually happened. So gripping.

  • Maxanyamom says:

    I was an avid reader growing up…always sneak reading in bed. I still love to read, although I have much less time for my own pleasure reading these days. When thinking back on the books that I loved enough to read and re-read at different times in my life, The Chronicles of Narnia came into my mind. I read them first when I was ~10, and again around 16 and in my mid 20s. I think I last read them when the first of the movies was released a few years back. I love them all, but if you asked me to pick just one of the series, it would be The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. My 2 children clearly love books as much as I & my husband do. I always find a little time to read aloud with my children. My son (age 9) loves to read, but has a serious writers block. He struggles so much that I fear he has the beginnings of a permanent aversion to the act of writing. I think that this book would be tremendously helpful to him. It looks like so much fun, and if he’s having fun, he won’t even notice that it is something he doesn’t like to do!!

  • KJ says:

    Hmmm…it’s impossible to pick a favorite, but all of Dianna Wynne Jones’ and Lucy M. Boston (The Children of Green Knowe series) books were read again and again, and of course my love affair with Loius L’Amour started early, at age nine. :) My list of required reading for children would be many pages long, so I’ll stop there…

  • kristin says:

    Boom-de-boom. An old one, my dad would read to my sisters and me – what a memory!

  • Jessalyn says:

    What a great find! My favorite childhood story was Goodnight Moon. When I could read on my own, I loved the Boxcar Children series, and anything by Laura Ingalls Wilder or Roald Dahl.

  • Valerie says:

    This book looks like it has great ideas! I had lots of favorite stories as a child, but the one that stands out in my memory is ‘Stuart Little’. My mother read that to my sister & brother & I when we were young, and I cherish the memory!

  • Alexandra says:

    The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
    Sooooooo good when I was little
    When I was a little older I was obsessed with LM Montgomery stories

  • Jackie W says:

    I was always a huge fan of Anne of Green Gables and the Nancy Drew books. I loved reading books from the same series and following the characters through different events in their lives.

  • Margaret B. says:

    Pippi Longstocking. As a young child I suffered severe asthma and spent long nights awake struggling for breath. Pippi (and Tommy & Annika) were my companions during these times I escaped from my bed into their imaginary world.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this lovely book.

  • Lise says:

    I’d love the chance to win this book; thanks so much! I read almost non-stop as a child, so I have so many favorites!! But one early favorite (and still a favorite to read aloud) was “My Father’s Dragon.”

  • Jennifer says:

    My favorite childhood story was Jennie’s Hat because of my name, and because I loved the idea of a gorgeous, over the top hat.

  • Jenny says:

    What a great book! My favorite childhood books were the Little House on the Prarie series and the Lord of the Rings series. Not obvious connections, but I love(d) long book series. I was a fast reader as a kid and I liked stories that could keep me in the same world for several days or weeks.

  • Meg says:

    My parents read us all of the Beatrix Potter books; I was charmed by their tiny size, adorable animals, and British-isms. My favorite was A Tale of Two Bad Mice. Nowadays, it wouldn’t do to call mice or children “bad,” would it?

  • Caroline says:

    I loved to read (and be read to!) as a child. My mother still remembers me asking for the story of “Girl and Goldilocks”. Once I could read to myself, I was voracious. I particularly loved The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. LeGuin, as well as the Wrinkle in Time series, but I would read anything I could get my hands on. Still do, as long as time permits!

  • Rebecca Guss says:

    One if my favorite stories as a kid was Millions of Cats. My mom used to make voices for all the characters, whike we snuggled on the couch. I recently was wandering through a bookstore in Seattle (who are becoming far and few in between) and found a much older hardcover copy and instantly jumped on it. Now I can share it with my daughter! Show me a Story looks amazing!

  • Ginger Ivey says:

    I loved the Star Wars stories and would fall asleep listening to them on tape every night as a kid.

  • Karly K says:

    My favorite book to have read to me as a child was Tikki Tikki Tembo, a Chinese folktale adapted and retold by Arlene Mosel. Who can forget the famous tagline chant, “Tikki tikki tembo no sa rembo chari bari ruchi pip peri pembo!”

  • Kim R says:

    I read Anne of Green Gables so many times growing up. Am looking forward to sharing it with my daughters.

  • Sheila K. says:

    My favorite childhood book was A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle!

  • Lora H says:

    Only one favorite? As a young reader, I loved Charlotte’s Web, which I recently heard with my son on audiobook read by E.B White. It was still amazing.

  • Greyson says:

    I have no shame. I was totally into The Babysitter’s Club book series. They were my first real, exciting, independent reading! I grew from those right into Nancy Drew.

  • Orla O says:

    I always wanted to solve mysteries like the children in Enid Blyton’s stories did. I can’t wait until my son is old enough and I can read proper novels to him.

  • oukay says:

    Miss Hickory, The Secret Garden, the Little House books, My Side of the Mountain, and lots of the “Childhood of Famous Americans” books. I can’t pick just one!

  • My favorite book as a younger child was Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are”. I could identify with Max and his stubborn nature. He wanted to have adventures and do things HE wanted to do, he did not want to listen to adults and do as he was told. I especially loved it when he told the wild things to “Be Still!”, and they did. Every child wishes for that kind of control in a time in life when they are always under the control of adults.

  • Allison says:

    I love telling stories to my little one before naps. I’ll make up anything, but her favorites are always the ones when she interacts with animals and they go on adventures with her.

  • Rebecca says:

    My favorite story was Leo the Lop by Steven Cosgrove. I had a whole collection of those books and a Leo the Lop tote bag to keep them in. Wish I still had them for my daughter now. I loved the illustrations as well.

  • Kelly Guerin says:

    My favorite book growing up was James and the Giant Peach :) I remember the Secret Garden like it was yesterday as well…

  • Kendra says:

    My sister and I both used to love to curl up with The Borrowers and be read to. We also loved Ping (the duck!)

  • Laura says:

    I’ve had my eye on that book- my students are all really creative and so I think it would be a perfect fit for them. Thanks!
    My favorite books were the Little Red Caboose, and my father reading my sister and I the Little House series.

  • Laura says:

    This looks wonderful to share with our daughter!

    One favorite is too hard — but among the top ten are the All of a Kind Family books. I loved them!

  • Dawn says:

    Any of the “Little House” books. I wanted to be Laura Ingalls but in the South without all those blizzards; “The Velveteen Rabbit” because I was convinced my stuffed animals got up and played together while I was sleeping; and a sweet book called “Suzy the Squirrel” whereSuzy gets pushed out of her tree-top home by robber squirrels and moves into an abandoned doll house in someone’s attic. I especially love the illustration of her in her kitchen using the tops of acorns for bowls. Thanks for the giveaway! Would love to have this book for my boys.

  • rae says:

    my favorites as an older child were the Nancy Drew series. i devoured them! this book looks really fun! thanks for the opportunity to win. 😉

  • Audrey says:

    The two stories that really spoke to me were Puff the Magic Dragon and The Giving Tree. I guess I’m drawn to stories with a sadness to them. Now that I have my own daughter, I was amazed to see that she cries every time I read Puff to her ~ so glad to know that she has an empathetic heart!

  • My favorite childhood book was “Goodnight Moon”

  • Nicole C says:

    One of my favorites during a period when I would only eat bread and butter for meals was Bread and Jam for Frances. My mom would change it so it was Bread and Butter for Nicole. :)

  • Belinda says:

    I had an Uncle James who read to me King Author and the Knights of the Round Table. He read in such a way that I could actually see Guinevere and the individual knights sitting around the powerful “Round Table”. He also had tons of National Geographic magazines and I would read them aloud and travel the world!

  • Cindy says:

    My father used to read to my sister and I often, and he would mix up the words to make silly sounds, and phrases – instead of The cat slept on my lap – he would read “The slat slept on my map” – and so on. My sister and I would giggle ourselves silly – so much fun. I discovered Shel Silverstein’s “Runny Babbit” several years ago – my son and I read it over and over again, and it reminds me so much of Dad. It is wonderfully silly and fun to share.

  • Mary Ann Cauthen says:

    Our favorite books to read at bedtime were “The Little House on the Prairie ” series, & “The Old Black Witch”. Would love to have this book in our home. My e mail is Thanks for the offer. Mary Ann Cauthen

  • Kelly Mosley says:

    My favorite book was the Book of Ruth from the bible. I always loved the story, I don’t know why I just did. I even wanted my daughter to have the middle name Ruth ☺

  • Elizabeth says:

    I loved, and still love, reading paper bag princess. My boys especially love the last page!

  • Claudine says:

    What a wonderful book — thanks for the giveaway.

    My favorite books from childhood starred Ramona Quimby. Even now I recall many situations she got herself into…

    My email is: becomingclaudine(@)gmail(dot)com

  • chantelle says:

    I LOVED Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. As a fairly small child I would wear aprons and set up a little ironing board in my bedroom. I imagined growing up and having my very own stone cottage tucked away in the mountains.

  • Leigh says:

    I always loved “Where the Wild Things Are.”

  • Gasp! That was one of my favorites too! I also read every Babysitter’s Club book I could get my hands on! Ha!
    This resource looks wonderful! One I just know our little family would use. Thanks for the chance!

  • Jessica says:

    I dearly loved all the Beatrix Potter stories. A few months before my daughter was born in the spring I found a copy of the complete illustrated works of Beatrix Potter for $6 at a used bookstore! I can’t wait to read them to her when she gets a little older.

  • Amy McGregor says:

    I loved the Anne of Green Gables books. My 11-year-old has the whole series now. She hasn’t really dug into it yet but I think she’ll pick them up one day and feel the same excitement that I felt reading about Anne’s escapades. It’s always fun to read about the “olden days” and even better when the main character is an orphan– it is my girl’s favorite game after all 😉

  • Eleanor says:

    Anne of Green Gables; Little House on the Prairie; All of A Kind Family; anything Madeleine L’Engle or Roald Dahl; the Shoes books; All Creatures Great and Small; the Chalet School series; Swallows and Amazons; Charlotte’s Web; Ramona … shall I continue? :)

  • Helen says:

    So great to see this book and I love the idea behind it! I had a long-running series of sagas we made up for our young son all centered around an alien named Floop. He LOVED this so much he didn’t want books read to him for a while, just Floop stories. As a child, I was in love with Roald Dahl’s stories and still am to this day.

  • Megan says:

    Charlotte’s Web..and now I have found I have turned into Mrs. Arable….& raising Fern and Avery + two more

  • courtney says:

    Little House in the Big Woods is my all time favorite and Farmer Boy is a close second. I ‘re-read them every Autumn!

  • Liberty says:

    I loved Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvelous Medicine when I was a kid. It must have been my mean streak, I just loved how George stuck it to the mean lady. =D

  • Bethany says:

    Neat book. With five daughters, we’re always reading or telling stories!

  • The Orchard says:

    My favourite story was Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian. I have such fond memories of my grade 5 teacher reading it to our class.

  • Kate says:

    My mom has always been a great storyteller. My favorite was a story about an old woman in a filthy, dirty house, who receives a vase full of beautiful flowers. The story is meant to teach how a simple gift can transform a life. Now it’s my turn to tell stories to my little ones…

  • Beth says:

    When I was a wee one I would spend the night with my great grandmother, snuggled next to her in her flannel pajamas in the middle of a Florida July. She would tell me endless stories of my dad when he was little – about the horses he raised, the truck she drove down their short road and back while she never held a license, having to “give him the switch” all the way home when he was being naughty… I am not sure I know the endings to any of the stories because I would nod off to her soothing voice long before the story was done. Sweet, sweet moments when time stood still…

  • Cynthia Holt says:

    The Runaway Bunny and I think it was called Mr Rabbit’s Present? It was illustrated by Maurice Sendak and was about a little girl looking for a birthday gift for her Mother with the help of a very large rabbit.

  • Emma H says:

    I loved anything by Enid Blyton but my all time favorite was The Enchanted Wood. It is the first in a three part series of books about the Faraway Tree which is a tree that various magical woodland creatures live in. At the top of the tree are a rotating number of magical lands that the three children in the story discover. I used to imagine that I have my very own faraway tree in my back garden.

  • alexis says:

    i just finished reading pippi longstocking to a little friend of mine on thursday and i think it was the probably the fifteenth time i have read it in my life! as a nanny i have returned to several favorites but one story that stands out the most was the one my best friend’s uncle told us one night. hatchet harry was a mean and scary dude who’s girlfriend’s name was donkey woman. he would shove his hand into his shirt-sleeve so it looked like he had half an arm, make a wild face and scare the hell out of us. i can’t exactly remember the story, i’m sure it was riveting, but the character’s names i will never forget. how could i? i would love to score this giveaway and use it with the many many kids i care for!

  • sara says:

    I’m dying to get a copy of this book!! Thanks for the chance!