Ten-Word Tiny Tales: To Inspire and Unsettle

Ten-Word Tiny Tales: To Inspire and Unsettle
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
September 12, 2023
UK Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho presents twenty tiny tales—each one illustrated by a different artist, and each just ten words long—in a book that’s as much a work of art as an invitation to budding writers.
“Invite me in,” she says, outside my tenth-story window.
Is it possible to spin a tale using just ten words? In this magnificent compendium, author and poet Joseph Coelho proves that it is—with mini-stories of underwater worlds, demon hamsters, bears in outer space, and portals to places unknown. From charming to creepy, fantastical to mysterious, each tale is paired with an outstanding illustrator, and together words and pictures inspire creativity as young readers are prompted to continue the story. Prefaced with a note from the author and offering two writing challenges at the end, this is an ideal gift for anyone ready to unleash their imagination.

With artwork from:
Alex T. Smith * Camilla Sucre * Chuck Groenink * Daishu Ma * Dapo Adeola * Dena Seiferling * Flavia Z. Drago * Freya Hartas * Helen Stephens * Julia Sarda * Katie May Green * Karl James Mountford * Maja Kastelic * Mariachiara Di Giorgio * Nahid Kazemi * Raissa Figueroa * Reggie Brown * Shaun Tan * Thea Lu * Yas Imamura * Yoko Tanaka

Editor review

1 review
Quick, Imaginative Stories
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
‘Ten-Word Tiny Tales to Inspire and Unsettle’ by Joseph Coelho is a book whose ten-word tales are only the beginning of the story. The beautiful illustrations on each page expand on the storytelling, and allow readers to become more deeply involved in what they are considering as they read each page. Readers’ imaginations will soar as they consider what’s beyond the portal in the teacher’s classroom, how a dog is hovering outside of a tenth-story window, where the carnival is that sits right next to a cave and a deep, dark-looking lake, how astronaut suits ended up in the ocean, what’s beyond the clouds, above the ladders in the sky, and so many more stories of intrigue and wonderment.

The end of the story asks readers to read more about how to lengthen a ten-word tiny tale, possibly by illustrating one, expanding on the story, or a host of other ideas. Starting off with a few words and adding more and more till the story expands and becomes longer is a great exercise for any aspiring writer. Any writer who feels blocked can use the stories in this book as prompts to start their writing off and see where it might go.
Good Points
Any writer who feels blocked can use the stories in this book as prompts to start their writing off and see where it might go.
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