Category Archives: Taking risks

Necks Out For Adventure

Necks Out For Adventure! The True Story of Edwin Wiggleskin”

Edwin, a Wiggleskin, asks his mom a very big question.

“What would happen if we flowed with the current?” The others laugh but his mom says, “Stick your neck out for adventure like you always do.” One day a terrible smell comes with two feet and two hands and scoops up all the Wiggleskins except Edwin.

Edwin gathers his courage and pops from his shell. He rides a big wave until he smells a terrible smell. Edwin rescues the Wiggleskins by teaching them “Necks out” to shuck their shells and run back to the ocean.

This book promotes creativity, courage, and risk-taking.

TITLE: Necks Out For Adventure! The True Story of Edwin Wiggleskin

AUTHOR: Timothy Basil Ering

ILLUSTRATOR: Timothy Basil Ering

PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press, 2008


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creativity, courage, risk-taking


1) Author Timothy Basil Ering doesn’t call a clam a clam. Instead he creates a new name, “wiggleskins.” Make a list of animals you’d find at the ocean. Next to each animal write another name for it. As you think up these new names, consider the animal’s attributes, habits and appearance.

2) What makes up an adventure? In your words, define the word adventure. What types of adventures interest you? Describe an adventure you’d like to take.


To learn more about author/illustrator Timothy Basil Ering, visit:

Hoot and Peep

“Hoot and Peep

Peep likes to peep about the mystery of things in her owly way. Hoot imparts his older brotherly wisdom. Owls only say “Hooo.”

When Peep leaves, Hoot misses her. He hears her songs on the wind and realizes his mistake.

Hoot and Peep learn to sing together in their own owly way.

This book promotes risk-taking, creative expression, and self-confidence.

TITLE: Hoot and Peep

AUTHOR: Lita Judge


PUBLISHER: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2016


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: risk-taking, creative expression, self-confidence


1) Write a rap song about YOU!

Watch 5 year old Jordan who will show you how to rap in 30 seconds.

2) What onomatopoeia words describe you? (Onomatopoeia is a word that imitates the natural sound of a thing. Examples: screech, cuckoo) Make a list of 15-20 words.


To learn more about author/illustrator Lita Judge, visit:

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:

The Noisy Paint Box


The Noisy Paintbox: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art

Born in Moscow, Russia on December 4, 1866, Vasily Kandinsky was raised as proper boy. When he was a young boy, his aunt gave him a paint box. When he mixed the colors, he heard music. “The swirling colors trilled like an orchestra tuning up for a magical symphony.” But he ignored his noisy paint box.

Instead Kandinsky did what was expected – he studied law and became a lawyer. One night he attended the opera. As he listened to the music, he saw vibrant colors and his desire to paint flared once again. So he quit the law and studied painting. However, he did what was expected of him and painted pretty landscapes and ladies.


Finally, Kandinsky listened to his heart and took a risk.


He painted what he felt and allowed the world to see his paintings despite knowing the criticism his work would receive.



Kandinsky was born with synesthesia, which is when one sense triggers another sense. For Kandinsky, he experienced sound as colors. “I could hear the hiss of the colors as they mingled.” He is a respected leader of the abstract art movement.

This book promotes following one’s passion, taking risks, perspective, and creation of a new art movement.

TITLE: The Noisy Paintbox: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art

AUTHOR: Barb Rosenstock

ILLUSTRATOR: Mary Grandpré

PUBLISHER: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: following one’s passion, taking risks, perspective, creation of a new art movement


1) Imagine what it would be like if you saw numbers as colors. What would 2 + 4 = 6 look like?

To learn more about synesthesia,

2) “Art should make you feel,” Vasya told his friends, “like music.” Look at some famous works of art. What artwork makes you feel happy, sad, confused, etc?


To learn more about author Barb Rosenstock, visit:

To learn more about illustrator Mary Grandpré, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: “Failure Forward”


Creative Thinking Prompt: “Failure Forward” means you have created an opportunity to learn and grow. At some point, everyone is afraid to make mistakes and fail. Make a list of what you do well. List 5 things you feel you could do better at. Look at your “What I Do Well” list – how could you use the things you do well to help you to improve the things you could do better at?

Think Deeper: Think of someone you admire. How did that person turn his/her experience of failure into success?




“The Yes”

The Yes was snug in his nest, but the Yes had a Where to go. The pack of Nos follow the Yes, telling him no.


Despite all the Nos and their no-ingness, The Yes gathers his courage, takes a risk and says, YES! Finally, the Nos and their no-ness and their not-ness grew faint and there was only the YES.

This book promotes self-esteem, self-confidence, taking risks.

TITLE: The Yes

AUTHOR: Sarah Bee

ILLUSTRATOR: Satoshi Kitamura

PUBLISHER: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2014


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: self-esteem, self-confidence, taking risks


1) What is one thing that you’d like to try but you don’t because of fear? Draw a picture of yourself doing that one thing. Write YES! beneath your picture.

2) Redesign the cover of the book. Draw your own YES creature.

3) In what ways can you say Yes?

Here are a few of mine –



Do it again!

I jump in the air.


To learn more about author Sarah Bee, visit:

To learn more about illustrator Satoshi Kitamura, visit: