Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Opening lines....

Tomorrow night, a bunch of us writer types are gonna be talking about great opening lines (and paragraphs and even pages) of wonderful children's books... and why those openings are so good and important.

So I ask you... got any favorite openings?

In no particular order for me, here are five of the first that popped into my head....

How the Grinch Stole Christmas -- Dr. Seuss
Millicent Min, Girl Genius -- Lisa Yee
Frindle -- Andrew Clements
The Phantom Tollbooth -- Norton Juster
Absolutely, Positively Not -- David LaRochelle

And you? No worries if you're after "tomorrow night" time. I'd still love to hear....


Anonymous said...

What an honor, Mr. Gregory K., to be included on your list of great opening lines! Thank you!

When I visit schools and talk to kids about writing strong openings, my favorite example, as well as theirs, is the first paragraph of Barbara Robinson's THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER:

"The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. They lied and stole and smoked cigars (even the girls) and talked dirty and hit little kids and cussed their teachers and took the name of the Lord in vain and set fire to Fred Shoemaker's old broken-down toolhouse."

How can you not love an opening like that?

Have a great discussion!

David LaRochelle

Greg Pincus said...

David -- that's faboo!

Someone else emailed me the opening to Shel Silverstein's The Missing Piece Meets the Big O -- "The missing piece sat alone... waiting for someone to come along and take it somewhere."

Different, but also worth sharing, I think.

Thanks for the opening. And for the record, anyone who reads the first three lines of Absolutely Positively Not and doesn't want to read further is someone I doubt I'd ever understand!

Lisa Yee said...

Thanks for including me on your list. That's fine company I'm with!!!

Stacy Loyd said...

Are you going to share the other greats with us?