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THE STORYTELLER

 

Lindsay Bonilla, Illustrated by Noar Lee Naggan

Picture Book, Nancy Paulson Books, 2024

Featuring an evocative text and luminous paintings, this stunning book celebrates the power of stories—how they connect us, inspire us, and keep memories alive.

Griffin’s grandmother spins the most marvelous stories, from breathtaking fairy tales to fascinating family lore. These stories fuel his imagination and fill their days with magic. So when he sees her once-bright spark begin to fade, Griffin is scared to think of the future. Fortunately, though, he has her stories to guide him—and to remind him that he is braver than he could ever imagine.

 

Rights Sold:

World: Penguin/Nancy Paulsen

Reviews:

“Reality and stories blend in this tale of the bond between a boy and his grandmother. Griffin’s grandmother—referred to as the Storyteller—nurtures him with ‘milk, fresh-baked bread and all kinds of stories. Folktales, fairy tales, legends. And Griffin’s favorite—family lore.’ . . . Soft, realistic illustrations depict a retro-style house and village, with Griffin looking on at people and animals from famous tales, many tiny and doll-like: Rapunzel peering out of a tower-esque teapot, the protagonist of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ scaling a flower. Griffin and his grandmother are always together until the older woman weakens and begins to fade. . . . Following Jack’s lead, he sells his toy cow for magic beans (which resemble jellybeans) and grows an impressive beanstalk. Before his grandmother climbs it—a moving, inspired metaphor for her death—she leaves him with a few words: ‘Keep the stories alive, my love.’ Griffin, in due course, passes her words on to the next generation, re-creating the powerful cycle of keeping story alive. Brief but potent text is paired with illustrations that exude a sense of magic and the joy of storytelling. . . . Warmly and tenderly conveys the comfort of sharing the lore of days gone by.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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