Let your imagination fly with
the storyteller's handbook

Within the pages of The Storyteller's Handbook  whole worlds are waiting for you. There is a giant cat sleeping against a city corner, a flying bathtub of squirrels, serious lions and pensive rabbits. You will visit the stars and dive into the deepest ocean, find jungles and explore cities. On every page is an adventure in progress, a mystery to ponder, characters to name and an invitation to build stories that only you can create.

This is a wordless picture book of 52 fantastical images, created by illustrator Elise Hurst, and with a foreword by Neil Gaiman. It is a book full of storytelling ingredients to help your imagination fly, which means that  for every person who opens the book, the stories that spring to life will be unique. There are so many intricate details. What will you notice? What happens next? And where will this experience take you? There are no rules, just a beautiful enticement to come and play.

bear_The Storytellers Handbook

"A truly inspirational book that ignites the inner storyteller. Bedtime stories, creative writing, and fantastic conversations will abound!” 

- The Children's Book Review

creative time

Creativity is a life skill, important to young and old. It offers relief and escape from the business of normal life, a chance for self expression, and also helps us to practise flexibility and adaptability in how we see and interact with the world. While we look at the details in these pages and wonder about the strange things we see, we are challenging ourselves to invent and discover, to look beyond the obvious and play a huge game of what if ? And it is perfect for sharing. From friends and families, to creative communities and schools. 

“I don’t think it is an overstatement to say that Elise has created an opus to creativity,” says New York Times  best-selling author Kobi Yamada. “I can’t think of a better resource to get people to unplug, spark their imaginations, and bring so much fun and memory-making to the bedtime ritual or to anytime you want to encourage connection and creativity.”


To help people get the most out of The Storyteller's Handbook, we have created a range of resources on this site for you to use as you like. Whether you are reaching for the book at bedtime, after school, on a family holiday or to use with a class - we have many fun ways to help spark your storytelling.

Use the scavenger hunt to find elusive details.
Or the story hunt for character building.
Maybe join the caption community with your ideas on this week's artwork?

Activities can help you explore the pictures and notice so many strange hidden details. When we ask questions about these elements, and come up with our own unique answers, stories are born. 

Don't forget to share your ideas with our creative community on the artwork in the Caption Challenge!

Question prompts

Scavenger hunts

Art activities

Caption Challenge
and more...


the Book
the art

A gift of creativity and imagination.
Journey into new worlds and discover the stories waiting within you.



We love teachers and we are excited to share The Storyteller's Handbook as an inspiring resource for creative writing, to encourage group sharing, establish focusing activities and develop visual literacy.

Download the teaching notes for a huge range of activities, discussion and insights that can be used for all ages - from children to adults.

"I can’t remember the last time I flipped through a book with as much joy and anticipation as this one. As a teacher and mom, I’m looking forward to the stories I can create for my kids, the stories they will craft themselves, and the possibilities for sparking students’ ideas in my classroom. Each picture is an invitation to worlds I wouldn’t have imagined, but that I will have the pleasure to borrow and build in. Whether you’re a writer looking for inspiration for yourself, or someone who simply enjoys beautiful artwork, you’ll find yourself pleasantly lost in these pages again and again."

Visit the media page for new videos,

reviews, and additional insights into

the world of the book.



peek inside...

Sneak a peek at some of the artwork as Elise explains a bit about the book.