I’m not even sure how many times I’ve saved a picture book from the library to show my husband when he returned home. Then to show my parents. Then to share online. And of course to re-read multiple times with my kids.
Picture books are an art form. And they’re not just for children.
The best picture books are enjoyed by both children and adults. Better yet, the best picture books inspire both children and adults. To grow. To change. To love. To laugh. To create.
Today, I’ll share just a few picture books that inspire creativity in both my children and myself.
10 Picture Books that Inspire Creativity
Ish by Peter Reynolds (Candlewick, 2004). This is by far one of my favorite picture books. I can’t not be inspired when I reread this one. My kids love the colors and the crafts that can spawn from this book.
A Dance Like Starlight by Kristy Dempsey, Illustrated by Floyd Cooper (Philomel, 2014). So far, I’ve teared up every time I’ve read this one. A beautifully told story, this book allows every reader to envision his/her own dreams as possibilities.
Froodle by Antoinette Portis (Roaring Book Press, 2014). This quirky book exemplifies perseverance against initial criticism to one’s creative choices in a fun, silly, magnificent way using birds’ vocalizations.
Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman, Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino (Knopf, 2012). Okay, so sometimes I just look for a reason to include one of Ame Dyckman’s books, but Boy +Bot fits this list, too. Boy and Bot both use creativity to help each other in this adorable friendship story.
When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop by Laban Carrick Hill, Illustrated by Theodore Taylor (Roaring Book Press, 2013). This creative nonfiction book highlights the birth of hip hop, a genre full of creativity. I love reading “origin” stories because of the inspiration pouring out.
Rain! by Linda Ashman, Illustrated by Christian Robinson (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2013). This cute book boasts a low word count, but is not sparse on effect. Readers see creativity in perspective and outlook through two drastically different charcters.
Not A Box by Antoinette Portis (HarperCollins, 2006). This author (as evidenced by listing two of her books here) excels at inspiring ways to think “out-of-the-box.” (Ha ha. I know I’m not the only one to have made that joke here.) My kids loved flipping through this one again and again.
Little Oink by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Illustrated by Jen Corace (Chronicle, 2009). Along with Little Pea and Little Hoot, this series of books causes readers to creativity think away from stereotypes and initial judgments.
On a Beam of Light by Jennifer Berne, Illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky (Chronicle, 2013). I doubt anyone can say Einstein wasn’t creative. This picture book offers a biography of Einstein’s unique ways of thinking, learning, exploring, and solving problems.
Journey by Aaron Becker (Candlewick, 2013). Journey is a wordless picture book. By that fact alone, it has to be creative. And this one is. An awesome story about using creativity throughout your moments.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou
What are your family’s favorite creativity-inspiring picture books?
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