In Puzzlers, readers encounter a parade of animals made from colorful collages of numbers. Readers search collages for a unique trait such as a upside down number, a pair of numbers, the tallest number, and a sequence.

In addition to finding the numbers that make up this frog, find all the numbers that are backward.

In this colorful fish, find a number pattern.

In the final spread, readers find all the unique traits in an animal that no one ever has before seen.

In the back of the book, answers to each puzzler are included as well as other games that can be found in each puzzler.

This story promotes creative components of imagination, parts to whole, and perspective.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book because readers use their creative and critical thinking skills to discover the numbers (parts) that make up the animals (whole). 

TITLE: Puzzlers

AUTHOR: Suse MacDonald


PUBLISHER: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1989


TOPIC(S): puzzles, animals, numbers

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: parts to whole, imagination, perspective


1) Draw your own puzzler using one of your favorite animals, a unique number characteristic, and numbers.

2) Draw a puzzler using a form of transportation such as a bike, car or train with letters of the alphabet.


To learn more about author Suse MacDonald, visit:


To learn more about illustrator Bill Oakes, visit:


Excellent Ed

“Excellent Ed”

Everyone is excellent at something except Ed. 

Ed wants to do what the The Ellis children are allowed to do – eat at the table, sit on the couch and ride in the van. If he becomes excellent at something, will he be able to do those things? 

But what is Ed good at? Breaking things, losing things, or forgetting things. Nope. The Ellis children are better than Ed.

When Ernie drops some food, Ed realizes that he is an excellent floor cleaner. Maybe that is why he doesn’t eat at the table. Ed discovers other things that he is excellent at and why he doesn’t get to ride in the van or sit on the couch.

This story promotes the creative components of individuality and different perspective.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book because of the humor and its message of acceptance and finding those things that you are excellent at doing. And of course, I love dogs!

TITLE: Excellent Ed

AUTHOR: Stacy McAnulty

ILLUSTRATOR: Julia Sarcone-Roach

PUBLISHER: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016


TOPIC(S): be yourself, acceptance

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: individuality, different perspective


1) If Ed were a cat, what excellent things might he be good at?

2) What are three things that you are excellent at? What is one thing that you wish you were excellent at? How might you go about to become better at it?


To learn more about author Stacy McAnulty, visit:


To learn more about the illustrator Julia Sarcone-Roach, visit:

Poppy Pickle

“Poppy Pickle”

While Poppy lives in an ordinary house with ordinary parents and ordinary cats, she is far from ordinary. She is full of imagination. Sometimes Poppy’s imagination lands her in a pickle. 

One day after being sent to her room, Poppy starts to imagine and then something happens. 

All the things that Poppy imagines come alive. Things get out of control. How will Poppy fix things before her parents enter her room?

This story promotes the creative components of imagination and humor.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book because of its celebration of imagination. This humorous story is a fun read. Be sure to “read” the pictures.

TITLE: Poppy Pickle

AUTHOR: Emma Yarlett


PUBLISHER: Templar Books, 2015


TOPIC(S): childhood, imagination

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, humor


1) Set a timer for ten minutes. Make a list of all the things that you can image. Let your imagination go wild. It can weird and wacky. It can be strange and unusual. It is imagined without judging it. From your list, pick one thing to sketch out. Name it.

2) Has your imagination ever gotten you in trouble? What happened? Now write about what would have happened if the things you had imagined had come alive (like in the story)? How would you solve the problem?


To learn more about author/illustrator Emma Yarlett, visit:


To see more about Poppy Pickle, visit: