Kids Create Stories from Pictures with Storybird

Please welcome my guest blogger, elementary school teacher AND children’s book author, Susan Stephenson of The Book Chook. I’ve been enjoying her blog for a while now and I’m really excited to have her explain a great website  where kids can create stories from pictures. I’m hoping this will get my kids excited to write this summer!


Are you looking for ways to arrest the summer slide? Are you interested in encouraging your children to write stories? I’d like to suggest you check out Storybird.

What is Storybird?

Storybird is a fantastic website that encourages us to use artwork created by Storybird’s real-life illustrators in the stories (or storybirds) we write. It’s free to register and use, with options to buy print books or upgrade for special features. All stories and comments are pre-moderated, and completed storybirds can be shared.

Why is Storybird helpful to children?

The stunning artwork and variety of digital books, many created by kids just like them, motivates kids to read and write. When we parents share the storybird creation process initially with our kids, they hear us “thinking aloud” about our own story-making process. This teaches them a lot about writing, in a natural, relaxed way. After that, many kids want to go on and create their own digital books at Storybird.


How can I best use it with my kids?

Let your kids read and explore there first with you, checking out the different books others have created. After that, make a book together. Stick to something simple for the first one. One method that’s easy is to find some pictures children like and create a single sentence caption about each. Later, once kids understand the process, they might like to use the art work of one particular artist to suggest a story and try to match pictures with text they create. In The Pobblepong Hero, my latest storybird, I searched via theme because our Australian Book Week is Read Across the Universe and I wanted something space-ish. Once I found the artist, the story just grew from those pictures.

Can I read an example Storybird?

You can read books online at Storybird. You can also embed them on a class or family blog. Below is The Pobblepong Hero. Use the arrows to navigate through this digital book.

Storybird is educational, encourages creative thinking, but most of all, it’s FUN, something I believe is important to motivate learners of any age. Children will enjoy looking at the range of pictures and use them naturally as creative prompts for their own writing.

Susan Stephenson, The Book Chook

Susan Stephenson is an Australian reader, writer and teacher who is passionate about children’s literature, literacy and learning. For free PDFs useful to parents and teachers, visit her website. To discover great educational apps and resources that help kids learn, check out The Book Chook.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Elle Carter Neal

    What an amazing idea. I’m off to explore Storybird now 🙂
    Elle Carter Neal recently posted…The Cone-Shaped Pointed Hats Worn by Princesses in Fairytales…My Profile

  2. Dee

    LOVE this! We leave tomorrow to bring Dylan to camp, but we’ll definitely try this out when he returns!
    Dee recently posted…10 ADHD Evacuation TipsMy Profile

  3. What an interesting idea! Is there a way for kids to upload their own artwork?
    maryanne recently posted…Three Playful Ways to Learn Math: Get Ready for K Through PlayMy Profile

  4. Giora

    Story Bird is a great website. Thanks.

  5. Deb

    Thank you thank you for this. I will be sure to share it with the kids and parents In my sure reading club and the staff at my new school!

  6. Great for kids who are visual learners. Having the choice of pictures will facilitate the writing process.
    Barbara Mojica recently posted…TALKING TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT SUBSTANCE ABUSEMy Profile

  7. Ann

    This sounds great, my daughter would LOVE it! She was asking me about how she could hire a professional illustrator for a book she is writing! She wants the pictures to be very realistic!
    Ann recently posted…Mittens?My Profile

  8. I hope you all like Storybird as much as I do! Thanks, Mia, for helping me share my passion for apps and tools that help kids create!

    @mamasmiles, there isn’t that option for kids to upload their own artwork. I believe illustrators at Storybird offer their artwork to we book creators for free because the return they get is a way to promote their own work, as well as a share in profit if people take the paying option and have books printed. So the site is not set up for uploading of user’s art. However, you might like Little Bird Tales or StoryJumper – both offer that facility. Plus, I know several iPad apps that do the same. Let me know if you want more information, happy to help.
    Susan recently posted…Questions to Help Kids Read, Think and WriteMy Profile

  9. Jeanette Nyberg

    This is incredible! I’m really excited about it; we have the workbooks being sort of worked through this summer, but it’s always preferable to find a way to keep them learning with something that’s actually fun.
    Jeanette Nyberg recently posted…Awesome Summer Kid Stuff RoundupMy Profile

  10. Deidre Whitfield

    “How many of you brought your life vests today?” Mrs. Miller asks. All the kids raise their hands. “Waterproof covers for your books?” she asks.
    Deidre Whitfield recently posted…No last blog posts to return.My Profile

  11. Patty Shukla

    All my music is core curriculum based and action packed. I just released a new CD called “Wiggle It!” will you review my music videos and music? Perfect for children 8 years old and under. Search “Patty Shukla” on your iPad or iPhone (free download) I look forward to hearing from you. Patty Shukla
    Patty Shukla recently posted…Children’s MusicMy Profile

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