Sunday, August 10, 2014

Picture Book 10 for 10 - Creativity

     Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek are hosting their 5th annual Picture Book 10 for 10 Round-Up today.  This will be my third time to participate.  The hardest part is figuring out how to choose only 10 picture books.  For my first year, I chose nonfiction favorites; then last year, I chose 10 picture books to start out the school year; now, what to do this year?!  I could do an empathy theme, since I start my 5th graders off with that, or a global issues theme, since I'm starting off my 6th graders with that theme topic.  OR,  I could do a writing theme since I want to get my students excited about writing.  Yikes! 

     After thinking about my classroom goals, I decided I'm going to go with a creativity theme.  In the light of CCSS, I want to make sure my students know that creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, wondering, questioning, and individuality are things I value in my classroom and students.  Test prep is going to run rampant this year since we're fully adopting Common Core, and  I know it's important to prepare my students so they do well on those tests, but I want them to keep that spark of creativity!  I want them to see creative solutions in problems, ask questions, and tap into their creative reservoirs.  I teach students who are identified gifted in language arts, and I want to encourage them to think outside the box (especially those multiple choice boxes).  It's something I've been trying to nurture within myself, and I want to help encourage my students to do so, also.  Here are some books that will help us keep our creativity, questions, and problem-solving abilities alive:

What Do You Do with an Idea?
What Do You With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada
This story talks about what to do when an idea comes to you.  You nurture it - no matter how big, odd, or difficult. 
The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life
This memoir captivated me with its big, bold illustrations and photographs of all that makes Lois Ehlert the creative person she is.
The Most Magnificent Thing
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Love, love, love this book!  This story inspired me when I was a little down about my own writing.  It addresses the frustration and temptation to give up when your first idea doesn't quite work.  Encourages the creative process, innovation, and persistence.
The Dot
The Dot by Peter Reynolds
Get ready for International Dot Day on September 15th!
  You probably already know and love this book, but it doesn't hurt to remind you to get it out again!
Beautiful Oops!
Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg
I love to share this book with my gifted students, many of whom are perfectionists.  This clever little picture books shows what can happen when you turn mistakes into works of art.
Caterina and the Lemonade Stand
I think this adorable book would work great incorporated into a social studies economics lesson.  It's all about problem-solving and how to stand out in a crowd.
The Day the Crayons Quit
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
My students love this book.  Think outside the box!  Who says the sky has to be blue and the grass green?
The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art
Wow - this book is so inspiring.  What seems to be a disability (possibly synesthesia), turns into a gift.  Artist Vasya Kandinsky becomes one of the pioneers of abstract art when he refuses to conform to the expectations of traditional art. (Pair this book with the novel, Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass.)
The Boy and the Airplane
I love the problem-solving creativity of the boy in this story.

How could I complete a list of books that encourage creativity without including my favorite picture book of 2013?!  Where can a red marker take you?
BONUS BOOK (you didn't think I could stop at 10, did you?)
Quest (Available August 26th)
Who is more excited about the 2nd book of the Journey trilogy than me?! Nobody! ;-)  I can't wait to see what creative and adventurous journey the boy and girl will go on next.
Ah, picture books.  I couldn't teach without them!  Thanks, Cathy and Mandy, for hosting this great event each year.


  1. Such a great list! Our art teacher shares a lot of these books with students, which I love. So excited about the sequel to Journey!

  2. Great list for creativity! We need to continue to foster creativity more and more these days! I'll be checking out The Scraps Book and can't wait for Quest as well! Thanks for sharing Holly!

  3. Great list. I can't wait for Quest to come out.

  4. LOVE your theme and the books you have selected! I have several of the same on my 10 for 10 list too! The Most Magnificent Thing is one of my favorite books of the year - so many themes in one book! Also LOVE Quest! Thanks, Holly!

  5. A great list! I haven't read about half of these. MOST MAGNIFICENT THING and WHAT DO YOU DO WITH AN IDEA have been on a bunch of lists and I'm definitely going to have to check those out. I'm also intrigued by CATERINA. I've never even seen that one. Thanks so much!

  6. Holly, Love your theme of creativity! A great list of books....some I have...some are new to me. The Most Magnificent Thing seems to be a hot read this year! :-)

  7. You said, "I want to make sure my students know that creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, wondering, questioning, and individuality are things I value in my classroom and students." Yes!!!

    So many great titles here to spark creativity. These books would be great for getting started and building strong learning communities.


  8. Holly - beautiful books to convey some of the messages you want your students to hear. I love Beautiful Oops as well - creating art can be a messy process - one that is often better when it ends up differently than where you started!

  9. Always excited to participate in this event. I've requested The Noisy Paint Box and The Scraps Book which have shown up on several lists already. I loved The Most Magnificent Thing. Now I'm off to request What Do You Do With An Idea? and Caterina and the Lemonade Stand. Thanks for new book titles to explore!