"Give me a really good first line, 

something I can sink my teeth into, that just pulls me in and makes me want to read more. For me, a really great first line raises a question in my mind, or, better yet, two or three, where I just have to read the book to find out. 

A good first line gives me context about the story and lays a roadmap for where we're going."

Jennifer March Soloway
Senior Agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency
During an interview on the Writers with Wrinkles podcast

June 2024

Welcome! I'm so glad you stopped by.
I hope you find this collection of picture book first lines inspiring and motivational.

If you'd like your book included in a future collection, click here.

Elements of a great first line

itty bitty
Betty BLOB

Words by Constance Lombardo, art by Micah Player

Published by Hippo Park Books

First line: Itty Bitty Betty Blob was not your typical monster.

Elements used: surprises the reader, makes the reader feel something and wonder something

Read Constance's first line revision journey here.

Like So

Words by Ruth Forman, art by Raissa Figueroa

Published by Little Simon

First line: I kiss you like so

Elements used: makes the reader feel something


Words by Marzieh Abbas, art by Bhagya Madanasinghe

Published by Clarion Books

First line: Noor’s friends were going to visit her house for the first time.

Elements used: makes the reader feel something

Partly Cloudy

By Deborah Freedman

Published by Viking

First line: What do you see when you look at clouds?

Elements used: references something with universal appeal

A Place for Rain

Words by Michelle Schaub, art by Blanca Gomez

Published by Norton Young Readers

First line: Plink. Plip. Plop. We watch the raindrops drop.

Elements used: uses unique formatting and poetic devices

From Park to Playa

Words by Nell Cross Beckerman, art by Sophie Diao

Published by cameron kids

First line: In our town there’s a trail connecting city park to playa—the beach and all the people who live here.

Elements used: makes the reader wonder something and feel something

Just SNOW Already!

By Howard McWilliam

Published by Flashlight Press

First line: This morning, Dad said it might snow today.
Elements used: references something with universal appeal 

The Book That Almost Rhymed

Words by Omar Abed, art by Hatem Aly

Published by Dial Books for Young Readers

First line: The other day, I wrote a book.

Elements used: establishes a rhythm that pulls the reader in and hints at a beloved classic

Ellie May
Dreams Big!

Words by Kristina McMorris, art by Amanda Yoshida

Published by sourcebooks

First line: Ellie Mae absolutely, positively loved everything about school.
Elements used: makes the reader wonder something and feel something and uses poetic devices 

I Lived Inside a Whale

By Xin Li

Published by Little, Brown and Co

First line: Once upon a time … I dreamed of a world that was quiet.

Elements used: Makes the reader feel something