Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Mentor Text Author Study: Julie Abery

Julie Abery is a children’s book author, former Pre-K teacher and polyglot. She is English by birth, has lived in different parts of Europe, and now calls Switzerland home.  Besides English, she also speaks Dutch, German, and French. Her love of languages, picture books and teaching very young children has helped Abery create her own stories. 



Board books are written for the youngest audiences – toddlers and preschoolers. That means the story must be able to hold their attention. In Little Tiger and the companion title Little Panda, Suzie Mason (Illustrator), Abery tells the tale of the adventures of curious little animal characters.  The storyline, following the cubs as they explore their surroundings with their mothers nearby, resonates with parents and children. Written in rhyming couplets, the text is active and fun to read aloud.  And the large, playful illustrations are bright and carefree.


Little Monkey and Little Hipp0, Suzie Mason (Illustrator), are the latest books in Abery’s little animal series. Also published by Amicus, these two books will release on February 25, 2020. Using a similar structure to her first two books, Abery takes us through a day in the life of two different animals.

Abery’s rhyming couplets and use of verbs that describe actions specific to each animal to create a rhythmic flow. Her word choices build a world authentic to each animal’s environment.


Written in sparse rhyming text, Abery uses a trochaic meter to tell the story of Syrian refugee and Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini in Yusra Swims, Sally Deng (Illustrator). Abery did not ignore the difficult and dangerous journey. She tells the true and emotional journey of Yursa’s family and others like hers who escaped war torn Syria. 

Creative Editions, February 25, 2020.

Writers looking for rhyming texts with humor and heart will find books by Julie Abery wonderful mentor texts to study. 


  1. Yay Julie! I love all of these books and I'm so excited to see them featured here!

    1. Thank you so much Kirsti and Keila for featuring them :)

  2. Totally love seeing each new book that launches with Julie's lyrical way with words! I've been a Julie Abery fan from day 1...and I can't wait to read all the beautiful stories that flow from her pen. And I agree with you, Keila...the make excellent mentor texts for anyone wanting to write in rhyme.

  3. Julie Abery successfully tackles the challenge of toddler attention. Her wordplay and storytelling create a refreshingly rhythmic flow for reading aloud. Stellar mentor texts for rhyming beyond the stale, cliches tossed in.

  4. Thanks for letting me know about Julie's work. I haven't read her books yet, but will remedy that immediately!

  5. Oooh, thanks for introducing me to her work. Off to check it out!

  6. Humor, heart, rhyming? Wow! Putting these on my TBR list. Thanks for bringing them to my attention!

  7. I do a lot of rhyme, so this will be a wonderful resource. Love what I was able to read of Julie’s stories. Must check these out.

  8. Capturing the attention of toddlers while also entertaining the adult reading the book, fabulous!