July 2021

Elements of a great first line:

*makes the reader wonder something

*sets the scene of the story

*sets the tone for the story

*hints at the how the story will end

*starts in the middle of the action

*hints at a universal theme

*introduces the main character and their problem (bonus points if the character is particularly unusual)

HAPPY SPRINGTIME

by Kate McMullan, art by Sujean Rim

2021

First line: Here's a message for school bus riders heading out on a cold dark morning... (complete sentence spans 7 pages)


LIFE WITH MY FAMILY

by Renee Hooker and Karl Jones, art by Kathryn Durst

2018

First line: Life with my family is not always easy.


THE PIANO RECITAL

by Akiko Miyakoshi

2019 (USA)

First line: Today is Momo's very first piano recital.


WIDE-AWAKE BEAR

by Pat Zietlow Miller and art by Jean Kim

2018

First line: One cold, grey day, Elliott's mother called him inside.


WINGMAKER

by Dave Cameron, art by David Huyck

2021

First line: Leaf and Lou lived in a colony at the foot of a tall cherry tree.


WHAT IF

by Thierry Lenain, art by Olivier Tallec

2019

First line: A child sat on his island, looking out at the world and thinking.


'OHANA MEANS FAMILY

by Ilima Loomis, art by Kenard Pak

2020

First line: This is the poi for our 'ohana's lu'au.


PRIYA DREAMS OF MARIGOLDS & MASALA

by Meena Patel

2019

First line: This house is on a small street in a small city in the United States.


HOW TO LIGHT YOUR DRAGON

by Didier Levy, art by Fred Benaglia

2019

First line: Can't breathe fire?


PENGUINAUT

by Marcie Colleen, art by Emma Yarlett

2018

First line: Orville was small.


WHAT DOES LITTLE CROCODILE SAY?

by Eva Montanari

2021

First line: The alarm clock goes ring, ring.


TURTLE WALK

by Matt Phelan

2020

First line: Turtle walk. Nice and slow. (first page) Here we go. (second page)


TIME FOR KENNY

by Brian Pinkney

2021

First line: It is time for Kenny to get dressed for the day.


THE TREE IN ME

by Corinna Luyken

2021

First line: The tree in me...(full sentence spans six spreads)


THAT'S MY CARROT!

by Il Sung Na

2020

First line: I love carrots.


STANDING ON HER SHOULDERS: a celebration of women

by Monica Clark-Robinson, art by Laura Freeman

2021

First line: Come sit with us, child, we have stories to tell.


OUT OF NOWHERE

by Chris Naylor Ballesteros

2020

First line: Once, I had a friend.


OLIVER, THE CURIOUS OWL

by Cad Otis

2020

First line: The owl family had everything they needed in their big tree.


MY RAINBOW

by Trinity and DeShanna Neal, art by Art Twink

2020

First line: Trinity and her siblings played in the warm morning sunlight.


LITTLE TACO TRUCK

by Tanya Valentine, art by Jorge Martin

2019

First line: In a busy corner of the big city, new buildings began to rise.


LET ME SLEEP SHEEP!

by Meg Mckinlay, art by Leila Rudge

2019

First line: Amos was counting himself to sleep.


LAMBSLIDE

by Ann Patchett, art by Robin Preiss Glasser

2019

First line: On the farm there was a flock of lambs who believed the sun came up in the morning because they were ready to get up and play and set at night because they were sleepy and ready for bed.


I LOVE MY FANGS

by Kelly Leigh Miller

2020

First line: I love my fangs!


I FEEL TEAL

by Lauren Rille, art by Aimee Sicuro

2018

First line: You're pink.


HAROLD SNIPPERPOT'S BEST DISASTER EVER

by Beatrice Alemagna

2019

First line: Some days feel like complete disasters.


FINDING KINDNESS

by Deborah Underwood, art by Irene Chan

2019

First line: Kindness is sometimes a cup and a card (full sentence spans three spreads)


EVEN THE SMALLEST WILL GROW

by Lita Judge

2021

First line: Tucked beneath a blanket of leaves, the acorn sleeps until its roots are ready to reach deep into the earth, and it begins to grow...(sentence continues on following spread)


DON'T CALL ME FUZZYBUTT!

by Robin Newman, art by Susan Batori

2021

First line: Bear needed a lot of sleep.


BALLOONS FOR PAPA

by Elizabeth Gilbert Bedia, art by Erika Meza

2020

First line: One gray morning, Arthur walked hand in hand with his papa through the park, past seller after seller, until he came to his favorite one.


AUNTIE LUCE'S TALKING PAINTINGS

by Francie Latour, art by Ken Daley

2019

First line: In my mother's bedroom, behind the family pictures and the jar that holds her wedding-day flowers, a painting sits on a shelf.


WHEN YOU ARE BRAVE

by Pat Zietlow Miller, art by Eliza Wheeler

2019

First line: Some days, when everything around you seems scary...you have to be brave. (Full sentence is split over the first spread.)