“The Gift of Nothing”
It is a special day. Mooch wants to give a gift to his best friend, Earl, but what do you give someone who already has a bowl, a bed and a chewy toy?
Mooch searches and searches until he finally finds…
This sweet book reminds us that the simplest “nothings” are the best gifts.
This book promotes sharing and different perspective.
TITLE: The Gift of Nothing
AUTHOR: Patrick McDonnell
ILLUSTRATOR: Patrick McDonnell
PUBLISHER: Little Brown Company, 2005
AGE GROUP: 4-7
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: sharing, different perspective
1) How is an empty box be a gift? What would you do if you received an empty box?
2) Love is something that cannot be seen. Or can it? In what ways do you show love?
3) The symbol for love is a heart. What symbol would you create to represent friendship?
4) What does love sound like, smell like, taste like, feel like and look like? Using your answers to these sensory questions, write a poem about love.
To learn more about author/illustrator Patrick McDonnell, visit:
Creative Thinking Prompt: A Stone’s Story
Upside-down trees swingin’ free,
Busses float and buildings dangle:
Now and then it’s nice to see
The world from a different angle.
-By Shel Silverstein
This poem had me imaging an upside-down world. I wondered what the trees would be reaching for and what forces kept the heavy busses and building dangle. It’s important to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective, like from the viewpoint of something or someone else and image “what if.”
First, look at the pictures below, what does each stone remind you of?
Second, use your imagination to imagine what special powers each stone has.
Third, pick one of the stones and answer the questions next to its picture.
If you were this stone, how might you see the world? How does it feel to be cut in half? How might that affect how you see the world?
What makes up the inside of this stone? Use this to tell its personal story.
Where might this stone live – another planet, deep in a volcano or ocean, etc.? What might you name this stone and why?
What quest did you as this stone take? Tell about your journey.
THINKING DEEPER: Research a stone of your choice. Use this information to write a creative nonfiction story about your stone.
“Niko Draws A Feeling”
Everywhere that Niko looks, he draws something that inspires him like the ring-a-ling of an ice cream truck and the hard work of a mother robin building her nest.
No one understands his drawings until one day a girl moves in next door and sees sadness in his drawing.
Niko draws her a picture and asks her, “What is this?” She answers, “It makes me feel like I made a new friend.”
This book promotes imagination, a different perspective, and being unique.
TITLE: Niko Draws A Feeling
AUTHOR: Bob Raczka
ILLUSTRATOR: Simone Shin
PUBLISHER: Carolrhoda, 2017
AGE GROUP: 4-7
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, a different perspective, unique
1) Pick an emotion. Draw what that emotion feels like to you. Draw the opposite emotion of the emotion you picked.
2) Draw the surprise of a surprise party. Draw the joy of receiving a present.
3) Abstract Art is expression of emotion that uses only lines, colors, and shapes, no subject.
Make your own abstract art. Think of an emotion. Freely draw lines onto a blank sheet of paper. Fill in your picture with different colors.
To learn more about Bob Raczka, visit:
To learn more about Simone Shin, visit: