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How to Tell a Bedtime Story

No matter how many times you let the pigeon drive the bus, at bedtime your child may just want a story you’ve created only for her. Need help spinning your own fantastical yarn? Use the following guide. 

Illustration of a bedtime story
Charlotte Trounce
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A Bedtime Story, in 5 Steps

A story is a mysterious creation, but it’s also a recipe: You need a hero, a world for him or her to live in (that’s the setting and the time), something to imperil that world (the plot twist), and a happy ending. Of course, it’s hard to come up with all of that when you can barely keep your eyes open. So we tapped a few children’s-book authors—Christopher Healy, the author of The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom ($17, amazon.com); Laurel Snyder, the author of Bigger Than a Breadbox ($7, amazon.com); and Barry Wolverton, the author of Neversink ($17, amazon.com)—to do most of the work for you. Pick a story element from each of the following sections and you have the building blocks for a rip-roaring tale.

 

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