Ten Word Tiny Tales


Reggie Brown illustrates the second tiny ten word tale, ‘We watch the teacher lead the children through the portal.‘ What do you see? What do you read into this? Within his introduction, children’s laureate Joseph Coelho suggests that these stories were looking for homes. Thereafter, he suggests that they needed to settle and grow. He invites readers to read, retell and then build new beginnings, middles and ends for these works.

However here, within Ten Word Tiny Tales, we’ve a book of substance. This is a book, rather like the classic The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, to pore over and wonder upon. What’s more, the wondering is inspired by the illustration offered each by Joseph Coelho’s friends, some of the world’s leading illustrators.

For example, Thea Lu imagines ‘the writing etched onto all of my bones‘ while Julia Sardà is inspired by ‘The second giant’ who ‘cam crashing out of the white cliffs‘. Meanwhile, Bookwagon lingered over Flavia Z. Drago’s interpretation of ‘They say they can’t see me, and now they’re fading’. 

Bookwagon is entranced by this wonderful book. While it has a natural home within classrooms, we suggest that Ten Word Tiny Tales is a wonderful gift, a title to talk over, read together and imagine upon at home too.

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Ten Word Tiny Tales

Joseph Coelho and Friends

(Walker Books)

‘She spent her days trying to climb out of the sky’. Then again, ‘For sale: hamster cage, some bars bent, some chewed through’. Joseph Coelho and Friends offer Ten Word Tiny Tales. Alongside a story, complete within its miniature frame, we’ve a double page illustration from the likes of Helen Stephens, Dapo Adeola, Shaun Tan or Alex T. Smith. In fact, the illustrations are entrancing. It’s as though each of these artists, from around the world, demonstrates their unique skill, colour board and might within these p ages.
Then again, Joseph Coelho invites readers to ‘read them and even retell them, using [a] pen to conjure up new beginnings, endings and middles’. In fact, this book is reminiscent of the classic The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, used so often in classrooms to inspire writing.
In fact, this book, like the writer’s How To Write Poems, for example, is an inspiring starter for writers. However, it’s also a dream for illustrators. For example, what do you see when you read, ‘The thing that slumps from the egg has my eyes‘? Then again, what about, ‘Invite me in,’ she says outside my tenth storey window’.
Bookwagon loves and recommends Ten Word Tiny Tales for readers, illustrators and then anyone with creative, curious instincts.


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