Friday, February 9, 2018

Book Review: 'Rona Writes a Story' by Bat Oren

Encountering the artistry of Bat Oren for the first time is a complete pleasure, even in the bit of biographical information she offers - Bat Oren is the poetic name of Orna Sopel-Miller-Kletter. She knows the art of storytelling well and is joined in this her third book by the fine illustrator Rosi M. This was written in my review of her book BLACKIE’S MAGIC COAT. In this book Bat serves as both writer and illustrator

The book opens with an introduction to Rona (in truth, Bat Oren as she has informed us): ‘When Rona was a little girl she loved listening to stories. Her favorite time of day in the nursery was when Pearl, her teacher, sat them all down in a circle, opened up a large book with pictures and read them a story about princesses and dwarves. Twice a week the library had story hour and Rona was always the first to arrive.’ As she grows older she decides to write her own stories – about herself – but decides the topic is boring and instead writes about her Kitty – boring, too. She considers writing scary stories but she didn’t want to frighten children. She seeks advice form her mother who informs her of Rona’s grandfather’s stories and she asks her mother to give her a first line of a story for her to expand and that is how Rona learned the art of writing stories: start with a sentence and take it from there. And so we get Ron’s first adventure story (and a good ne it is!).

As a bonus, Bat offers some ‘first liners’ for children to open their imagination and dreams and write their own stories. It is a terrific introduction to the art of writing – an art Bat Oren has mastered. Grady Harp, May 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.