Story Time – “DIY Fairy Tale”

Ok, I admit it: the storytelling games in my last post were more on the “ready-made” side. And while there’s nothing wrong with that from time to time, in my mind there’s no replacement to good old pencil and paper when it comes to fun.

Here is an idea for a DIY storytelling game. It encourages creative thinking and develops drawing skills, although no pressure on the latter.

Most fairy tales are made up of 6 elements. So, to start, each child takes a piece of paper an draws a circle that she then divides in 6 slices. Then, in each slice, they drawn answer to the following questions:

1. What is the main character? Where does he/she live? What is the landscape there like?
2. What is her/his quest/mission/problem to solve?
3. Do they have somebody helping them? How?
4. What obstacle comes in the way of the character’s quest?
5. How will he/she deal with it?
6. What happens in the end?

When they are done drawing, everybody will tell their story to the others. Then they will file the drawing away for later, when they are comic book artists and need some inspiration.

(This game appears on, a great website for teaching resources.)

Enjoy story time and talk soon!

Storytelling Games – Christmas gift edition

If you are like me, then there are surely a few Christmas presents that you still need to get. Or, again, if you are like me, you can’t help getting some more great presents even if everybody has been taken care of. Because you never know when they might come in handy.

In either case, a good storytelling game will do the trick. Here are 3 options for lovers of stories young and old. Entertaining, stimulating and made to bring creative minds together.

1. Tell Me a Story:

2. Rory’s Story Cubes:

3. Once Upon a Time:

Now I’m off to get those last three things on my gift shopping list. Or were there five?

Talk soon!



So, here we are: it’s been already a year of Picture a Tale online!

It has been a sometimes fast, sometimes slow year, with a long break right in the middle of it for which I have an adorable, one-toothed excuse.

It has been a year of lessons, some of the “yay, I got it!” variety, some (most) of the more banging-head-against-the-wall kind.

It has been a year of making connections with other talented and self-driven people.

It has been a year of rediscovering how great it is to just sit down and draw sometimes and not think about how many “likes” the Facebook page has or how many people will retweet it.

Before we move on into year 2, I want to send out a big thank you to you all: blog readers, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, Etsy shoppers and all the other very supportive people who like tales and art!

Happy birthday, Picture a Tale!

Talk soon,


Happy “Fractured*” Valentine’s Day!

*From “The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales:”

Fractured fairy tales are traditional fairy tales, rearranged to create new plots with fundamentally different meanings or messages. Fractured fairy tales are closely related to fairy-tale parodies, but the two serve different purposes: parodies mock individual tales and the genre as a whole; fractured fairy tales, with a reforming intent, seek to impart updated social and moral messages.”

I couldn’t let this holiday go by without a nod, although I usually would. What can I say, I don’t think pink and red are a good color combination. We know how full of romance all tales are, but the army of Disney princesses has managed to take over that romance and turn it into something sweeter than a cup of hot chocolate with three spoons of honey, two lumps of sugar and a swirl of caramel.

So as much as I love the original stories, it’s refreshing to read from time to time something like “Falling for Rapunzel” by Leah Wilcox, illustrated by Lydia Monks, a picture book for children with a silly sense of humor (they need to be able to understand the word-play, so recommended ages are 5-8).  For those of you familiar with Rapunzel’s story, it’s not exactly that…


Once upon a bad hair day,

a prince rode up Rapunzel’s way.

From up above he heard her whine,

Upset her hair had lost it’s shine.


And so starts a funny story full of misunderstandings, with a surprising ending.

Have a great day, whether you celebrate Valentine’s or not!

Talk soon,