The Story of a Piece of Paper

Free PDF download

Free PDF download

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY NC License, so you are free to share and adapt it for non-commercial purposes. If you like it, you can also BUY it HERE.


A blank piece of paper and a child’s imagination is all you need for an adventure. What can you do with a blank piece of paper? Draw a picture – it might come to life. Make an envelope – something unexpected may be hiding inside. Write a story – it might escape off the page into the world.

The Story of A Piece of Paper was commissioned by my older daughter Katya one bedtime when she was four. “Can you tell me a new story?” she said. “Make one up yourself. What about? Oh, just a piece of paper.”

So I made up this story with the girls’ help, and they were quite pleased with it. So pleased that they kept requesting that same story again and again. I personally didn’t think the story was all that great. But clearly I have a poor grasp on what literature appeals to children.

For the girls’ birthdays this year, I decided to illustrate their story and make it into a book. I thought that it would make a memorable birthday present and also that seeing characters from their imagination on a pages of a real book will encourage my kids to keep inventing stories and creating things.

I hope that you know a kid or two with whom you can share this story, and that they enjoy it too.

illustrations sampleIf you like the book, you can also buy it for from the Google Play Store. It will be the same PDF as the free copy, but you’d be showing your support and letting me know that you like the work enough to shell out 99 cents for it. BUY IT.

Тechnical notes: Since I was designing the layouts to be printed as a board book, they are in spreads (pairs of facing pages are locked together as one). The file is a PDF, so you should be able to open it on any computer, tablet or smartphone. Some e-book reading apps may display two spreads side by side thinking each is a single page – that can’t really be helped, as far as I know.

P.S. There’s also a Russian version.


The Story of a Piece of Paper — 6 Comments

  1. It’s very lovely, except for the frame where the rabbit is held by it’s ear. Rabbits are often picked up in this way by people who are ignorant or cruel. It’s very painful to the rabbit, and can cause permanent damage. I know it’s only a paper cutout of a rabbit, but since the overall message is about helping and comforting the rabbit, it’s a bit of a false note in an otherwise sweet story.

    • You make a good point, though it didn’t occur to me in the context of a tiny paper rabbit. Sorry that it spoils the story for you.

    • You know what would have been more painful to the rabbit? Being left to die an excruciating death by starvation in a glue trap, or at the teeth of the wolves prowling behind that tree.
      If I’m being buried alive at a collapsed construction site and you use a shovel to dig me out, fracturing my skull in doing so, the first thing I will do when I wake up is buy you a beer, not complain about the pain in my head.

  2. It’s a very enjoyable story. I would advise changing the lettering on pages 3 and 8. Coming from a comic book reader, I consistently misread both pages by reading the text that begins the highest up which doesn’t make sense in the context of the story. Of course, it might be more clear printed in a traditional children’s book with the spine dividing the pages but for the PDF it was just a little confusing.

    Again, great story and art. Thank you.

    • Really glad to hear you enjoyed the story! Thanks for the input on the lettering – I often make the same mistake reading those pages. Will try to re-arrange things if ever the chance comes to redo this in another format.

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