Category Archives: Picture Books

Animal Ark

Animal Ark”

In this collaborative project between photographer Joel Sartore and Newberry-winning author Kwame Alexander, Animal Ark blends their talents to give focus on some of the endangered species in our magnificent animal kingdom. Alexander’s haiku poetry accompanies Sartore’s visual haikus (photos). Their message, We are family, drives home that we must all take care of our planet.

Background matter includes notes from the photographer and the writer.

This book promotes creativity, helping others, nature and discovery.

TITLE: Animal Ark

AUTHOR: Kwame Alexander


PUBLISHER: National Geographic Partners, 2017


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creativity, helping others, nature, discovery


1) What can you do to help save endangered species?

2) Choose a photo of an endangered animal. Research your animal. Use a few of those facts to help you write a haiku poem about your animal.


To learn more about photographer Joel Sartore, visit:

Joel is the founder of the Photo Ark, a groundbreaking effort to document species before they disappear—and to get people to care while there’s still time.

To learn more about author Kwame Alexander, visit:

Write Your Sound Story

Creative Thinking Prompt: Sound Story

Begin by collecting sounds. Go on a nature walk. Record the sounds you hear.

Listen to songs of instrumental music. Which instruments remind you of the nature sounds you heard?

Walk around your town or city. Record sounds. How do the sounds you heard in a city environment differ from the sounds you heard in a countryside?

Write a short song story about yourself, using the sounds you have collected to represent you instead of words.

 Extending Connections:

To add more nature sounds and other sounds to your sound library, visit:

To listen to sounds of instruments, visit:

Oh No, Astro!

Oh No, Astro!”

Cranky Astro’s space has been invaded. When a satellite crashes into him, Astro is knocked out of orbit. sent on an adventure whether he likes it or not.

Whether he likes it or not, Astro is in for the ride of his life, rocketing past planets, an astronaut, and the moon.

He hurtles to Earth.

When Astro smashes into stargazing Nova’s backyard, he is smaller but having fun.

The backmatter offers a question and answer format about space titled “A Selection of Space Facts.”

This book promotes different perspectives and humor.

TITLE: Oh No, Astro!”

AUTHOR: Matt Roeser


PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: different perspective, humor


1) Create jokes or riddles about rocks. Start with a list of other names that rocks can be called. Pick a few that appeal to you. Think about the different characteristics of each. How might you use those traits to invent a joke or riddle? For example, what does a snowman eat for breakfast? Snowflakes. Get it? Instead of Corn Flakes cereal, it’s Snowflake cereal.

2) Astro traveled through space to reach Earth. Imagine the journey of a pumice rock whose journey begins as part of a volcano.


To learn more about author Matt Roeser, visit:

To learn more about illustrator Brad Woodard, visit: