The search for small moments mentor texts for narrative writing signals the official beginning of story-telling in writer’s workshop!
There’s something so special about sharing these book gems with students, providing them with a wide range of inspiration for authoring their very own personal narrative writing pieces.
As you teach the idea of small moments during writing block, refer to these small moments mentor texts so that students hear good story examples of narrative writing.
Small Moments Mentor Texts
Though this list of mentor texts for small moment writing isn’t exhaustive, you’ll definitely find a variety of selections to fit your teaching needs.
- A Bike Like Sergio’s (Maribeth Boelts)
The story revolves around a young boy named Ruben, who longs for a bike just like his friend Sergio’s. However, his family cannot afford it. The book explores themes of honesty, empathy, and the true value of friendship.
- A Chair for My Mother (Vera B. Williams)
This children’s book follows the story of a young girl who, after a fire destroys their home, saves coins in a jar to help her family buy a comfortable chair for her hardworking mother.
- A Letter to Amy (Ezra Jack Keats)
In this charming tale, a boy named Peter writes an invitation letter to his friend Amy, inviting her to his birthday party. However, he faces some misadventures on the way to delivering the letter.
- A Moment in Time (Jennifer Butenas)
This novel delves into the life of Anna, a young woman who discovers a magical pocket watch that allows her to travel back in time. As she explores the past, she learns valuable lessons about life and love.
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Judith Viorst)
This classic children’s book hilariously recounts a day in the life of young Alexander, filled with one mishap after another, leading him to wish he could move to Australia.
- Amazing Grace (Mary Hoffman)
Grace, a young girl with a passion for storytelling and acting, faces challenges and stereotypes when auditioning for the role of her dreams, Peter Pan.
- Aunt Flossie’s Hats (Elizabeth Howard)
In this touching picture book, two young girls visit their Aunt Flossie’s house and are captivated by her collection of hats. As she recounts the stories behind each hat, they learn about family history and cherished memories.
- Baby Goes to Market (Atinuke and Angela Brooksbank)
Join Baby and his mama on a vibrant African market adventure. As they go from stall to stall, Baby finds clever ways to sneak treats into their basket, creating a delightful counting story.
- The Bear and the Piano (David Lichtfield)
This beautifully illustrated tale follows a bear who discovers a piano in the forest and becomes a talented musician. When he leaves to pursue fame and fortune, he must decide what truly matters in life.
- Bibbity Bop, Barber Shop (Natasha Anastasia Tarpley)
In this fun story, a young African-American boy goes to the barbershop with his dad, experiencing the sights and sounds while getting a haircut that’s just right.
- Bigmama’s (Donald Crews)
In this book, a young boy visits his grandmother, Bigmama’s, house in the country. He learns about his family’s history and connections to the past, appreciating the simple joys of family gatherings.
- The Big Big Sea (Martin Waddell)
This beautifully illustrated book takes readers on a poetic journey as Little Bear questions Big Bear about the vastness of the sea and the love between them.
- Blackout (John Rocco)
In this modern tale, a city experiences a blackout, leading a family to connect with neighbors in unexpected ways, reminding them of the joys of simple, unplugged moments.
- Come On, Rain! (Karen Hesse)
On a hot summer day, a young girl and her friends are waiting for the rain to break the heat. As they dance and play, they celebrate the refreshing arrival of a long-awaited summer storm.
- Cotton Candy Skies and French Fries (Theresa Del Vecchio)
This delightful children’s book explores the magic of imagination as a child envisions extraordinary scenes in everyday situations like cotton candy skies and French fry mountains.
- The Dandelion Seed (Joseph Anthony)
Follow the journey of a dandelion seed as it experiences the world, finding its place in nature’s cycle and spreading beauty along the way.
- Daniel’s Good Day (Micha Archer)
Daniel goes on a joyful journey through his vibrant Caribbean neighborhood as he encounters various familiar faces and experiences the magic of a truly good day.
- Early Sunday Morning (Denene Millner)
This touching story follows a young girl named June as she musters up the courage to sing a solo in the church choir, discovering the power of her voice and the support of her community.
- Every Friday (Dan Yaccarino)
In this charming children’s book, a young boy looks forward to the special routine he shares with his father every Friday, a day filled with love, adventure, and cherished memories.
- Extra Yarn (Marc Barnett, Jon Klassen)
Annabelle discovers a magical box of colorful yarn that never runs out. As she brings warmth and beauty to her monochrome town, she catches the attention of someone who wants the yarn for themselves.
- Flying Over Brooklyn (Myron Uhlberg)
This touching tale follows a deaf boy’s imaginary adventure over the city of Brooklyn as he overcomes his disability and finds the power of self-expression through art.
- Fireflies (Julie Brinckloe)
In this gentle story, a young boy captures fireflies on a summer evening and learns about the beauty of nature, friendship, and the importance of letting go.
- Freedom Soup (Tami Charles)
Based on Haitian tradition, this heartwarming story follows a girl named Belle and her grandmother as they cook a special soup that celebrates their cultural heritage and family history.
- Honey, I Love (Eloise Greenfield)
Through poetic verses, this book celebrates the simple joys and everyday love experienced by a young African-American girl as she reflects on the people and things she adores.
- The Ghost of Sifty, Sifty Sam (Angela Shelf Medearis)
In this spooky but humorous story, a young boy named Sam encounters a friendly ghost with a funny name and discovers that sometimes, fear can turn into friendship.
- Goggles (Ezra Jack Keats)
“In this classic children’s book, Peter and his friend Archie find a pair of discarded motorcycle goggles. Their imaginative play takes them on exciting adventures through the city streets.
- Grandpa’s Stories: A Book of Remembering (Joseph Coelho)
This touching picture book follows a young boy and his grandpa as they share cherished memories and stories, passing down family history and love through generations.
- Green Pants (Kenneth Kraegel)
Jameson loves his green pants and wears them every day. But when he’s invited to his cousin’s wedding, he faces a dilemma about what to wear, leading to a heartwarming realization about individuality and family.
- Hair Love (Matthew A. Cherry)
This heartwarming story depicts a father’s loving and humorous attempt to style his daughter’s hair, celebrating the bond between parent and child.
- Hike (Pete Oswald)
This beautifully illustrated book takes readers on a father-daughter hiking adventure, showcasing the wonders of nature and the special moments shared between parent and child.
- Home in the Woods (Eliza Wheeler)
Set during the Great Depression, this poignant tale follows a family as they make a home in a tar-paper shack in the woods, finding beauty and hope in their challenging circumstances.
- Ira Sleeps Over (Bernard Waber)
Ira is invited to his first sleepover at his friend Reggie’s house. He grapples with the decision of whether to bring his teddy bear and learns about friendship, comfort, and growing up.
- It Takes a Village (Jane Cowen-Fletcher)
In this beautifully illustrated book, a young African girl discovers the support and love of her community as she embarks on a journey to bring water to her village.
- Jabari Jumps (Gaia Cornwell)
Jabari is determined to jump off the diving board at the pool, but as he stands at the edge, he feels unsure and scared. With gentle encouragement from his dad, he learns to conquer his fears.
- Jamaica’s Find (Juanita Havill)
Jamaica discovers a toy dog at the playground and decides to take it home, hoping no one will claim it. But when she loses the dog, she learns about honesty, responsibility, and the joy of doing the right thing.
- Jin Woo (Eve Bunting)
This heartfelt story follows a young Korean boy, Jin Woo, who moves to a new country and faces the challenges of adapting to a different culture while cherishing the memories of his homeland.
- Joshua’s Night Whispers (Angela Johnson)
Joshua finds comfort and solace in the nighttime whispers shared by his family members, leading him to feel safe and loved as he drifts off to sleep.
- Julius, The Baby of the World (Kevin Henkes)
Lilly, an enthusiastic little mouse, is not thrilled when her baby brother Julius arrives. However, as she learns to embrace her new role as a big sister, she discovers that Julius isn’t so bad after all.
- Kissing Hand (Audrey Penn)
Chester Raccoon is anxious about starting school, so his mother shares a special ritual – the Kissing Han – to reassure him of her love and presence, even when they’re apart.
- Kitchen Dance (Maurie J. Manning)
In this picture book, a little girl wakes up in the middle of the night to find her parents dancing in the kitchen, and she joins in the fun, creating cherished family memories.
- Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale (Mo Willems)
Trixie, a toddler, loses her beloved Knuffle Bunny at the laundromat. With her limited vocabulary, she tries to communicate her distress to her dad in this humorous and touching story.
- The Leaving Morning (Angela Johnson)
This poignant tale tells the story of a young girl and her family preparing to leave their home to escape racial discrimination, highlighting courage and hope in the face of adversity.
- Life on Mars (Jon Agee)
A determined little astronaut searches for signs of life on Mars, leading to a surprising and heartwarming discovery.
- Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse (Kevin Henkes)
Lily, an adorable mouse, receives a new purple plastic purse and is bursting with excitement to show it off in class. But when her enthusiasm gets the best of her, she learns a valuable lesson about patience and forgiveness.
- Mama Zooms (Jane Cowen-Fletcher)
This imaginative tale follows a young boy who imagines that his mother is a superhero as she zooms through her day, performing various tasks with enthusiasm and love.
- Mr. George Baker (Amy Hest)
Harry befriends Mr. George Baker, an elderly man who helps him with his reading and shares life lessons, revealing the special bond between generations.
- Night Shift Daddy (Eileen Spinelli)
This heartwarming story follows a father who works the night shift and spends quality time with his child during the day, demonstrating the love and dedication of working parents.
- Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street (Roni Schotter)
A young aspiring writer named Eva searches for inspiration for her stories on her seemingly ordinary New York City street, leading her to discover that extraordinary stories are everywhere.
- Ohana Means Family (Llima Loomis)
This touching tale follows a Hawaiian girl named Leilani who visits her grandmother and learns about the importance of family and the spirit of aloha.
- The Other Way to Listen (Byrd Baylor)
A young girl learns the art of listening from her Native American friend, discovering a deeper connection to nature and the world around her.
- Owen (Kevin Henkes)
Owen, a little mouse, has a beloved yellow blanket, and his parents try to help him let go of it as he starts school, leading to a heartwarming solution.
- Owl Moon (Jane Yolen)
On a winter night, a father takes his daughter on a magical owling expedition, creating a memorable bonding experience as they search for the elusive birds.
- The Paperboy (Dav Pilkey)
A young paperboy navigates the pre-dawn hours, delivering newspapers on his route, facing various challenges with perseverance and determination.
- Rain Feet (Angela Johnson)
A young girl discovers joy in dancing barefoot in the rain, relishing the simple pleasures of life.
- Ralph Tells a Story (Abby Hanlon)
Ralph struggles to come up with a story for his class assignment, but with encouragement and creativity, he finds his unique voice and storytelling ability.
- Red Rubber Boot Day (Mary Lyn Rae)
A little girl enjoys a rainy day, splashing in puddles with her red rubber boots and finding delight in simple outdoor adventures.
- The Relatives Came (Cynthia Rylant)
In this heartwarming story, a large extended family comes to visit, bringing laughter, love, and a sense of togetherness that leaves lasting memories.
- Roller Coaster (Maria Frazee)
This wordless picture book captures the excitement and emotions of a family’s visit to an amusement park, showcasing the ups and downs of a roller coaster ride and the joy of family fun.
- Salt Hands (Jane Chelsea Aragon)
In this moving picture book, a young girl and her mother make salt by hand, reflecting on their heritage and family traditions.
- The Sandwich Swap (Queen Rania of Jordan Al Abdullah, Kelly DiPucchio)
This tale follows best friends Lily and Salma, who learn to appreciate each other’s cultural differences after a lunchtime sandwich swap causes a conflict.
- Saturdays and Teacakes (Lester Laminack)
This heartwarming story revolves around a boy and his grandmother, who spend Saturdays together making teacakes and sharing cherished memories.
- Sheila Rae’s Peppermint Stick (Kevin Henkes)
Sheila Rae faces a challenge when her little sister, Louise, wants to share her peppermint stick, leading to a valuable lesson about sibling love and generosity.
- Shhh! We Have a Plan (Chris Haughton)
In this comical and beautifully illustrated book, a group of friends tries to catch a bird, but their plans keep going hilariously awry.
- Shortcut (Donald Crews)
Follow a group of children who take a shortcut along the railroad tracks, experiencing adventure and excitement on their journey.
- Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter (Eugenie Doyle)
This book follows a family’s preparations for winter on their farm, showcasing the beauty of the changing seasons and the hard work needed to care for the land and animals.
- The Snowy Day (Ezra Jack Keats)
A classic children’s book that follows Peter’s joyous adventures in the snow, celebrating the wonder of a snowy day.
- Thunder Cake (Patricia Polacco)
This heartwarming story revolves around a grandmother and her granddaughter who gather ingredients during a thunderstorm to bake a special cake, teaching bravery and coping with fears.
- Tiny, Perfect Things (M.H. Clark)
A father and his daughter embark on an evening adventure to find tiny, perfect things that often go unnoticed, showcasing the beauty in the small details of the world around them.
- Tight Times (Barbara Shook Hazen)
When times are tough for a family, they find creative and loving ways to make their pet cat feel loved and cared for.
- Twister! (Darleen Bailey Beard)
This story follows a young girl’s fear of thunderstorms and the comfort she finds when her grandfather shares stories about how he used to chase tornadoes.
- The Two of Them (Aliki)
This heartwarming story depicts the love and bond between a brother and sister as they spend time together and explore the world around them.
- The Underbed (Cathryn Clinton Hoellwarth)
A playful tale that reassures children that there’s nothing to fear under their bed, leading to a sweet friendship with a surprise visitor.
- Uptown (Bryan Collier)
This beautifully illustrated book celebrates the vibrant and diverse life of a Harlem neighborhood and the sense of community that unites its residents.
- The Wall (Eve Bunting)
In this book, a young boy and his father visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the boy discovers the significance of the wall and the emotions it evokes.
- Wemberly Worried (Kevin Henkes)
Wemberly is a little mouse who worries about everything, but when she starts school, she discovers that she’s not the only one with worries, leading to newfound courage and friendship.
- Wemberly’s Ice Cream Star (Kevin Henkes)
This book continues Wemberly’s adventures as she faces her fear of trying new things, including a new flavor of ice cream.
- When Charley Met Emma (Amy Webb)
This touching story follows Charley, a little boy who meets Emma, a girl with limb differences, and learns about empathy, kindness, and the value of diversity.
- Zoom (Istvan Banyai)
A wordless picture book that offers a captivating journey, zooming out from a single scene to reveal a grand perspective of interconnected events.
Final Thoughts On Mentor Texts for Small Moment Writing
Now you have a quality selection of small moments mentor texts to refer to as you’re planning writer’s workshop.
No longer search endlessly in a million different places online or in your school’s library database looking for that just-perfect book.
If you found this list of mentor texts for small moments helpful, you may be interested in … mentor texts that teach narrative writing.