Category Archives: Imagination

Alphabet City

“Alphabet City”

In this wordless picture book, author/illustrator Stephen T. Johnson challenges readers to look beyond initial appearances to discover the letters of the alphabet in a city landscape. Johnson’s paintings reflect cityscape elements that form capital letters. 

Can you find the letters E, P, and T?

This book promotes creative components of imagination, discovery, flexible thinking, perspective, and wonder.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK:  I like this book because it encourages readers to look at the world in a different way while learning through discovery.

TITLE: Alphabet City

AUTHOR: Stephen T. Johnson

ILLUSTRATOR: Stephen T. Johnson

PUBLISHER: Viking, 1995

AGE GROUP: 4-6

TOPIC(S): alphabet, city, wordless

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, discovery, creativity, flexible thinking, perspective

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Take a walk around your school or neighborhood, searching for the alphabet letters. Sketch each letter you discovered to make your own alphabet book.

2) Pick a letter. Camouflage your letter inside a picture that you draw. See if others can find your letter.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author/illustrator Stephen T. Johnson, visit:

https://stephentjohnson.com/pagecv

Sweet Dreamers

Sweet Dreamers

Ever wonder what animals dream about? In Sweet Dreamers, a creative nonfiction picture book, author/illustrator Isabelle Simler transports readers into different animals’ realms, while departing natural facts about each creature through her lyrical description of how they dream. 

The ant “gathers and collects hundreds of quick naps” while the seahorse “as if on a carousel, the seahorse dreams at a gallop” and the spider “dreams on a tightrope – the lacework pattern of his sleep hanging by a thread.”

As a longer picture book, Simler uses two-page landscape spreads to introduce a new environment of animals. Each animal receives a close-up and a full-body illustration.

A perfect read aloud bedtime story.

This book promotes creativity and imagination.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book because the lyrical words and beautiful illustrations speak to the reader and immediately take the reader into each animal’s dreamtime. Strong word choices seamlessly blend each animal’s natural characteristics into evocative poetry.

TITLE: Sweet Dreamers

AUTHOR: Isabelle Simler

ILLUSTRATOR: Isabelle Simler

PUBLISHER: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2019

Originally published in France 2017

English language translation by Sarah Ardizzone, 2019

AGE GROUP: 4-7

TOPICS: bedtime, nature-based poetry

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creativity, imagination, nature

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Watch your pet or a video that shows a sleeping animal. Make a list of words or phrases that describe that animal. Make another list that describes how you think you look when you sleep. Using words from both lists, write a poem about your sleeping animal and you.

2) Although Isabelle Simler crafted her illustrations digitally, it reminds me of scratch art. Make your own scratch art. Visit this blogpost for DIY easy scratch art:

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author/illustrator Isabelle Simler, visit:

http://www.letstalkpicturebooks.com/2018/12/lets-talk-illustrators-92-isabelle.html

“drawn together”

drawn together

A grandson is to spend time with his grandfather but there’s a generational gap. They don’t speak each other’s language. They don’t eat the same food. And they don’t watch the same television shows. 

Then Grandfather sees his grandson drawing with markers. He brings his pen and ink. And in a flash, they discover a new world that words can’t describe.

But when they’re closer than ever, the old distance returns. Will they be able to cross that generational bridge?

This book promotes creativity, creative problem solving, and diversity.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this almost wordless book because it is a story that doesn’t need words for its message to be told. The graphic novel-story type illustrations add another layer. I really enjoyed seeing how this author and illustrator bridge the generational gap literally and figuratively. 

TITLE: drawn together

AUTHOR: Minh Lê

ILLUSTRATOR: Dan Santat

PUBLISHER: Disney-Hyperion, 2018

TOPIC(S): generational, grandparent/grandchild relationship, culture

AGE GROUP: 4-7

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creativity, creative problelm solving, diversity

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) With a friend or sibling, invent a language that only the two of you understand.

2) Build a bridge using your favorite food or candy.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author Minh Lê, visit:

http://minhlebooks.com/about-1

To learn more about illustrator Dan Santat, visit: 

https://www.dantat.com