(Pt. 2) What I love about children’s books: Creativity

It’s Children’s Book Week!

In honor of the annual national literacy initiative hosted by Every Child a Reader and sponsored by the Children’s Book Council, I will be sharing a series of the seven elements I love about children’s books. One element will be featured each day through Sunday, continuing with …


Today’s topic goes hand-in-hand with yesterday’s post about imagination.

Creativity and imagination are siblings. They egg each other on and support one another. They share a lot of DNA, but they have differences.

While imagination is more internal, creativity is external. It takes whatever the imagination visualizes and makes it tangible.

Hundred DressesOne of the amazing powers of children’s literature is its inspiration to create. When I was in elementary school, I read Eleanor Estes’ book THE HUNDRED DRESSES. The story tells of a girl from a poor family who is teased for her shabby dress. She tells an obvious lie that she has 100 dresses at home, and her classmates demand a daily description of each of the hundred dresses. When the school has a drawing contest to design a dress, the girl submits 100 elaborate drawings of dresses, which silence her classmates when they are awed by her artistic skill.

I barely closed the book before I decided to draw 100 dresses. I grabbed my colored pencils, a fresh notebook, and went to work.

I never made it to the double digits in dress designs before I abandoned the project, but I enjoyed every minute of my fashion design while it lasted.

Library story hours also are prime examples of creativity sparked by children’s literature. Most story hours feature a reading, followed by a craft project or activity.

And who can resist Pinterest boards like this one, titled Crafts Based on Children’s Books? (I’m a fan of the toilet paper roll Paddington Bear.)

Children’s books feature some of the most creative, dynamic designs in and of themselves. Pop-up books, texture books, and stories that feature cutouts or moveable parts are common in the young literary market. They showcase creativity of production as well as inspire creativity.

One of my favorite books in grade school was a pop-up book featuring four old-fashioned gardens. I drew and cut out paper dolls to play with in the pop-up gardens. (Never mind that they were tattooed with blue stripes from the lines of notebook paper.)

Do you have any creative projects inspired by children’s books? If so, feel free to share them in the comments below!

Read the series to date:

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4 Responses to (Pt. 2) What I love about children’s books: Creativity

  1. trinitygrau says:

    It’s actually funny, because I just realized that kids’ games can have the same effect. Right now, I’m writing a short story based on the Clue game we have.

    Liked by 1 person

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