Jessica Lanan
Cover image of picture book 'The Story I'll tell' showing two parents and a small child holding hands on a beach beneath a large moon and night sky.

The Story I'll Tell

Written by Nancy Tupper Ling & illustrated by Jessica Lanan
Lee & Low Books, 2015
ISBN: 9781620141601

A young child asks his mother to tell the story of where he came from. “I might tell how you came from a land far away in a hot air balloon. The basket slowly drifted down like a feather into our yard. I dropped the firewood I was carrying and ran to you. ‘You’re home now,’ I said.” Or maybe it was a lark—and not a stork—that brought the child to the mother. Or perhaps he was rescued from a dragon! Each lyrical and fantastic tale contains a small kernel of truth that pieces together the baby’s journey across a wide ocean into his new mother's arms.

The Story I'll Tell is a gentle and moving story of adoption and parental love that is sure to touch the hearts of readers everywhere, no matter how they came to be a family.

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Huffington Post Best Book of the Year, Honorable Mention

Laced with Chinese-flavored splendor throughout, Lanan’s spreads match Ling’s romance with pools of moonlight, banks of clouds, and ghosts of zodiac figures. It’s an unabashed love letter, one that many families will treasure.

★ Publisher's Weekly, starred review

Each double-page spread features at least one warm, glowing light, and these sweet stories and warm lights aptly convey the love that mothers and fathers, birth or adopted, have for their children.

Classroom Resources

Detail of a watercolor and colored pencil illustration showing a mother and young boy sitting together in an armchair reading a book.

Teacher's Guide

This guide offers useful information including links to learn more about adoption and Chinese culture, before-reading focus questions, after-reading discussion questions, ELL/ESL activities, and interdisciplinary activites to tie in with traditional or home-school curricula. (Courtesy Lee & Low Books, shared with permission.)

Detail of watercolor and colored pencil illustration showing a small victorian style house on a sunny hillside.

Author Interview with Nancy Tupper Ling

Read an interview with author Nancy Tupper Ling about the process and inspiration behind the book.