Pictures can enrich storytelling experiences. We propose a framework that can automatically compose a picture book by understanding story text and visualizing it with painting elements, i.e., characters and backgrounds. For story understanding, we extract key information from a story on both sentence level and paragraph level, including characters, scenes and actions. These concepts are organized and visualized in a way that depicts the development of a story. We collect a set of Chinese stories for children and apply our approach to compose pictures for stories. Extensive experiments are conducted towards story event extraction for visualization to demonstrate the effectiveness of our method.