Seaver the Weaver

“Seaver the Weaver”

Seaver comes from a family of orb weavers who only make round webs. At night Seaver finds inspiration in the stars.

His siblings find his webs too different. But Seaver likes his unique shapes and continues to weave. His webs catch food. When his siblings’ webs don’t attract prey, they ask Seaver to teach them to weave.

This book promotes individuality, following one’s heart, unique, and courage.

TITLE: Seaver the Weaver

AUTHOR: Paul Czajak

ILLUSTRATOR: The Brothers Hilts

PUBLISHER: Mighty Media Kids, 2015


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: individuality, following one’s heart, unique, courage


1) Look at the stars in the dark night. What shapes do you see? Sketch what you see. Then research constellations to see which ones you saw.

2) What other shapes could Seaver weave? Design what Seaver’s web would look like if he used more than one shape to weave his web.


To learn more about author Paul Czajak, visit:


Creative Thinking Prompt: Building with Ice Cubes

Ice is slippery. Ice is wet. Ice melts. Then how can you build with ice?

Creative Thinking Prompt: Build a structure using ice cubes, using the creative thinking strategy SCAMPER. SCAMPER was developed by Bob Eberle based upon Alex Osborn’s creating thinking questions. Alex Osborn is the originator of brainstorming.


Scamper is based upon seven creative thinking principles. Each principle views your idea in a different manner. By asking questions related to each principle, Scamper gets you thinking about which areas of your idea you can improve.

S = Substitute:  Remove some part and replace it with something else.

What else can I use instead of clear water to create ice cubes?

C = Combination:  Join or force together two or more elements of your subject to develop a solution.

What things can I combine together to make a better ice cube?

What can I use to stick the cubes together?

A = Adapt:  Change some part so that it works where before it didn’t work.

What might I do to change the structure of the ice cubes to make them not melt quickly?

M = Magnify or modify:  Consider the attributes of the subject and change them. Attributes include: size, shape, other dimensions, texture, color, position, etc.

How will smaller or larger ice cubes work within my structure?

P = Put to other uses:  Think about your subject – why it exists, what it is used for, what it’s supposed to do. Then think up new and unusual purposes.           

How else can I use an ice cube?

E = Eliminate:  Remove any or all elements of the subject.

What can I remove from my structure to make it stronger and last longer?

R = Rearrange or reverse:  Look at the subject from different perspectives. Turn it upside-down, inside-out. Make it go backwards, against the direction it was intended to go or be used. Similar to Reverse, modify the order of operations or any other hierarchy involved.

What would happen if I rearrange the ice cubes in my structure?

As I used SCAMPER more questions popped into my mind.

  • How would using pop, sugar water, jello, or millk affect the structure of an ice cube?
  • Would the different ingredients make the cube stick together easier? Would it melt less?
  • What if I let the cubes melt a little and then refreeze them – would my structure “stick” together?
  • How would small and large cubes help with building my structure?
  • Is there a better way to build an ice structure?
  • What if I froze a smaller cube inside a larger cube?
  • How can I make my structure colorful?

To make glow-in-the-dark cubes, visit:

Think Deeper: Build an ice cube arch.

The Most Magnificent Thing

“The Most Magnificent Thing

One day a girl has a wonderful idea to make the most magnificent thing. She knows how it will look and how it will work. After she makes it, it doesn’t look or work how she imagined.

She tries again and again but it still won’t work. It isn’t magnificent.

Frustrated and angry, she quits. Her trusty helper tells her to go for a walk.

When they return, she sees all the things she created. Each one better than before. That gives her an idea…

This book promotes discovery, the creative process, and risk-taking.

TITLE: The Most Magnificent Thing

AUTHOR: Ashley Spires

ILLUSTRATOR: Ashley Spires

PUBLISHER: Kids Can Press, 2014


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: discovery, the creative process, risk-taking


1) Pick an invention that interests you. What might you change to make it better? What might you add or subtract from it? Can you substitute a different part? What else can the invention be used for?

2) What do you do when you are frustrated? Do you quit, give up? Do you push forward and try again? Do you try a new approach? Tell about a time that you wanted to quit but you didn’t.


To learn more about author/illustrator Ashley Spires, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Paintblots

Creative Thinking Prompt: Paint Blots

What do you see in the above paint blot? I see a person facing left and a person facing right. Traditionally, ink blots are blotted patterns of spilled ink that are used in personality tests. Instead of using black ink, I used gold paint. And we will use blots for fun – to feed our imaginations.

I see a praying mantis and a dinosaur skull. What do you see?

I see a maple leaf. When I turn it upside-down, I see a turtle. What do you see?

Create your own paint blots. Fold a piece of paper in half. Unfold it. On one half of the paper, place a few blobs of paint. Fold the paper and pat your hand over the paper. Unfold. What images do you see? Turn the paper 90 degrees. What do you see now? Turn it again. What do you see again? Ask others what they see? How does their interpretations differ from yours?

“Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes”

Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes”

Salley Mavor’s gorgeous artwork  brings a fresh perspective to beloved nursery rhymes. Each rhyme features Mavor’s handsewn characters and scenes.

This book promotes discovery, imagination, uniqueness and originality.

TITLE: Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes

Collected by: Salley Mavor


PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin, 2010


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: discovery, imagination, uniqueness, originality


1) Make a no-sew finger puppet.

2) Make a cast of characters from your favorite nursery rhyme. Act out the rhyme.


To learn more about illustrator Salley Mavor, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Creative Thinking Prompt: Use 5W1H to Make Your Goals for the New Year

What will the new year bring for you? Use 5W1H to help make a plan to achieve your 2017 goals. 5W1H, a creative thinking technique, uses questions to help define a problem and prompt creative thinking solutions. The 5Ws are who, what, where, when, and why. The 1H is how. For example, let’s say one of your goals is to become a better person.

Who are some people admire?

Why do you admire them?

What qualities do you admire about them?

Where can you express those qualities?

When can you express those qualities?

How can you express those qualities?

Now make a list of goals that you would like to achieve next year. Pick one of those goals to use 5W1H to help you clarify and achieve your goal.

Harold Finds A Voice

Harold Finds A Voice”

In Harold Finds A Voice, Harold, a great mimicking parrot, grows tired of repeating the same sounds and escapes from home.

As he flies through Paris and hears new sounds, he discovers that everything has its own voice.

But when Harold speaks, he emits a horrible sound.

Will Harold find a voice?

Readers can mimic the sounds that Harold encounters on his journey.

This book promotes discovery, individuality, and risk-taking.

TITLE: Harold Finds A Voice

AUTHOR: Courtney Dicmas

ILLUSTRATOR: Courtney Dicmas

PUBLISHER: Child’s Play Inc., 2013


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: discovery, individuality, risk-taking


1) The illustrations in this book do not use solid or completed outlines. Using watercolor paints, create a scene and/or character. If you’d like, add incomplete outlines using a black pen or marker.

2) Think of all the objects in your home that makes a sound. Write down the sound using onomatopoeia (the imitation of a sound that an item makes). See if you can create 20 onomatopoeias.

For example: toaster: Frzz! Ding!

blender: Bweee!

coffee pot: Burble

oil in a frying pan: spiz


To learn more about author/illustrator Courtney Dicmas, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Does & What Doesn’t

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Does & What Doesn’t

For this creative thinking prompt, I am taking inspiration from a page in Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s THE WONDER BOOK.

called “Further Clarification”

What Grows on Trees & What Doesn’t Grow on Trees


Creative Thinking Prompt: What Goes On A Pizza & What Doesn’t Go On A Pizza

Brainstorm for two minutes a list of “Things That Go On A Pizza.”

Then brainstorm “What Doesn’t Go On A Pizza” for two minutes.

Look over your two lists and circle the two most wacky items.

Next brainstorm lists for “What Goes In A Snow Pile” & “What Doesn’t Go In a Snow Pile”.

Think Deeper: Make up your own What Does & What Doesn’t and give to your family and friends to think up.

Rabbit’s Gift

Rabbit’s Gift”

In the spirit of the holiday season, I wanted to share Rabbit’s Gift written by George Shannon, which honors the selfless act of giving and generosity.

Winter is coming. As Rabbit searches for food, he finds two turnips. One is enough for him and he wonders if Donkey found food.

Rabbit leaves the turnip by Donkey’s door. Donkey has enough food so he leaves the turnip by Goat’s door. Goat has enough food. He leaves the turnip by Deer’s door. Deer leaves it by Rabbit’s door, who shares with all his friends.

TITLE: Rabbit’s Gift: A Fable from China

AUTHOR: George Shannon

ILLUSTRATOR: Laura Dronzer

PUBLISHER: Harcourt, Inc., 2007



1) What can you share with others? Brainstorm ways you can share. Remember sharing doesn’t have to be a thing, it could be spending time with others, a smile, etc.

2) From time to time, animals, people, and the Earth need help from others. Who would you help? Make a list of things that you could do to help them.


To learn more about author George Shannon, visit:

To learn more about illustrator Laura Dronzek, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Can You Make With Bubble Gum?

Gum Sculpture by Maurizio Savini

12-16-16 Creative Thinking Prompt: What Can You Make With Bubble Gum?

Sculptures are made from a variety of materials – clay, wire, paper. But have you seen one made from bubble gum? Italian artist Maurizio Savini uses pink and white gum as his art medium because he sees it as part of his country’s culture.

Gum Sculpture by Maurizio Savini

No, he does not chew the gum. To keep his sculptures from disintegrating from the gum’s sugar, Savini applies a mixture of formaldehyde and antibiotics to preserve his work.

Creative Thinking Prompt: What can you make with gum? Brainstorm a list of things that you can use or make with bubble gum. Grab some gum. Work with it using your hands to get the feel of the gum and to understand its properties. Sketch out a simple design that you’d like to make. Now create! Remember your piece might not last long due to the gum’s sugar.

To view more of Maurizio Savini’s work, visit:

To learn more about Maurizio Savini’s art, visit: