Free/CC kids' picture book: The Story of a Piece of Paper

Natalie Jubb comes out to many of my events in Toronto with her charming kids, and while I knew she was an artist (mostly lovely mosaics), I hadn't had a chance to get a good look at her work until today, when she tweeted a link to "The Story of a Piece of Paper," a board-book she wrote and drew with the help of her daughter Katya. Natalie and Katya have released their book as a CC-licensed PDF (it's a picture book, so they needed to control the layouts pretty closely). It's a fabulous read, and has my favorite kids' book origin story: the bedtime-story-become-a-book.

The Story of A Piece of Paper was commissioned by my older daughter Katya one bedtime when she was four. “Can you tell me a new story?” she said. “Make one up yourself. What about? Oh, just a piece of paper.”

So I made up this story with the girls’ help, and they were quite pleased with it. So pleased that they kept requesting that same story again and again. I personally didn’t think the story was all that great. But clearly I have a poor grasp on what literature appeals to children.

For the girls’ birthdays this year, I decided to illustrate their story and make it into a book. I thought that it would make a memorable birthday present and also that seeing characters from their imagination on a pages of a real book will encourage my kids to keep inventing stories and creating things.

The Story of a Piece of Paper


  1. I can’t be the only one who cringes to see a rabbit being picked up by the ear(s) can I?

    Please never pick a rabbit up by the ears, it is painful and often results in permanent damage.

    You also should not pick up an adult rabbit by the scruff of the neck. Once they are adults they need to have their whole body supported when being picked up.

    1.  No, everyone who has ever loved a rabbit (or just happens to know how wrong this is) cringes when they see depictions of that cruelty

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