Category Archives: Unique

Spare Parts

“Spare Parts

Written and illustrated by daughter and father team, Rebecca Emberley & Ed Emberley, Spare Parts is a fun rhyming story with lots of heart.

Meet Rhoobart, tarnished and tattered. His secondhand heart wouldn’t start. So Rhoobart goes to the Spare Parts Mart to find another heart.

Meet Sweetart, an energetic bit of metal. “You don’t need a new heart. You just need a jump start!”

This book promotes originality, uniqueness and combinology.

TITLE: Spare Parts

AUTHOR: Rebecca Emberley & Ed Emberley

ILLUSTRATOR: Rebecca Emberley & Ed Emberley

PUBLISHER: A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Brook Press, 2015


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: originality, uniqueness, combinology


1) Using things you find around your house (and with your parent or guardian’s permission) assemble a unique character. What does your character like, dislike, dream about, and want? What’s your character’s name?

2) Think of an inanimate object. If it were to have a heart, where would the heart be located? Pick a missing part for your inanimate object. What could be used instead?


To learn more about authors/illustrators Rebecca Emberley & Ed Emberley, visit:

The Catawampus Cat

The Catawampus Cat

The new cat enters the town walking askew.

The grocer and his wife try to straighten out the cat but to no avail. They wonder what is wrong with the cat. “Maybe he’s noticing something.” So they tilt their heads and discover something.

As the tilted cat strolls through town, people discover they can see better from different angles. Soon the entire town has gone askew. Then the cat stretches and straightens himself out, once again catawampus.

This book promotes originality, perspective, and being unique.

TITLE: The Catawampus Cat

AUTHOR: Jason Carter Eaton


PUBLISHER: Crown Books for Young Readers, 2017


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: originality, perspective, unique


1) Brainstorm ways to see the world around you differently by asking how else might I see things around me.

Here are a few thoughts to get you started:

ride a Tilt-a-Whirl

spin on a Sit-and-Spin slow and fast

use a protractor to create an image from multiple angles

hang upside down from the monkey bars at the playground

2) Grab a dictionary and find unusual words. Make a list of these uncommon words with their definitions. Choose one of the words to create a character and/or story.


To learn more about author Jason Carter Eaton, visit:

To learn more about illustrator Gus Gordon, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Unusual Knitting

Creative Thinking Prompt: Unusual Knitting

Knitting Artist Dave Cole

knits using unusual materials such as lead-lined fabric and Kevlar and using unusual knitting needles like excavation machines and rifles.

This teddy bear he knitted from fiberglass.


This flag he knitted using John Deere excavation machines.

Titled “The Knitting Machine.”


 Creative Thinking Prompt: Brainstorm a list of knitting materials that someone can use to knit with. Brainstorm a second list of items that can be used as knitting needles. Pair one of your knitting materials with one of your knitting needles items, then Google to see if anyone has ever tried knitting in that fashion.


To view more of Dave Cole art, visit:

Kids can knit with their fingers. Watch this easy tutorial to start creating your own knitting handiworks.

‪How to Finger Knit, Episode 80 by Fiber Flux at

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:


“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:




Animals, people, storybook characters live in many different structures called homes. Carson Ellis introduces readers to a variety of homes found throughout time and the world.


Illustrations tickle readers’ imaginations as they wonder about who lives in these homes.


This story promotes flexible thinking, making connections, and diversity.


AUTHOR: Carson Ellis


PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press, 2015


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: flexible thinking, making connections, and diversity


1) Think about the neighborhood you live in. List 10 different homes. Think about a place you visited. List 10 different homes. Compare the homes on your lists. How are they alike? How are they different? Which home would you only like to visit and why? Which home would you like to live in and why?

2) Home and house can mean different things to different people. What does each mean to you? What does qualities does a home have that a house doesn’t?


To learn more about author/ illustrator Carson Ellis, visit:



 Rabbityness, written and illustrated by Jo Empson, celebrates the creativity within everyone. Rabbit enjoys doing rabbity things and doing unrabbityness – painting and making music.

rabbitynesspage2  rabbitynesspage3

When Rabbit doesn’t return one day, the other rabbits discover the gifts that Rabbit left behind. Soon their sadness is replaced with gladness as they share Rabbit’s creativeness and their own.


“In time, all the rabbits discovered they liked doing unrabbity things too!”

This book promotes creativity, creative expression, individuality, and uniqueness. In addition to these creative components, Rabbityness gently introduces the topic of loss.

TITLE: Rabbityness

AUTHOR: Jo Empson


PUBLISHER: Child’s Play, 2011


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creativity, creative expression, individuality, and uniqueness


1) Rabbit enjoyed doing unrabbity things. Fold a piece of paper in half. Unfold. Choose an animal or object. On one side, list all the things your animal/object would naturally do. On the other side, create a list of all the things your animal/object would not do naturally. Use humor for some of them. For example, I chose Squirrel. He likes to store nuts. An unsquirrely thing that Squirrel does is he likes to knit blankets to keep himself and his friends warm. What are some things that you do or have done that others wouldn’t expect from you?

2) Rabbit shared his artistic and musical talents. What gifts/talents do you have? How do you share your gifts with others? How does your gift(s) bring you happiness?

3) Using clay or soft dough, mold a sculpture by letting your intuition guide you. That means don’t think, just feel and see what happens. Once you feel that you are finished, stand back and gaze upon your creation. What do you see? What does your sculpture remind you of? What does it mean to you? If you don’t finish a completed piece, it’s okay. Let it go and come back to it or smush it and put it away for another day.  🙂


To learn more about author/illustrator Jo Empson, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Design A Shoe That’s Perfect For You


Creative Thinking Prompt: Design A Shoe That’s Perfect For You

What story will your shoes tell about you? As you design your shoes to be as unique as you are, here are some things to think about.

What’s the purpose of your shoe?

What material to use for the sole?- wood, plastic, rubber, cotton

Will your shoes be flat, have a small heel, have a large heel?

Will you engrave a design like your name on the bottom of your shoe? Will you hide a secret superpower on the bottom of your shoes? A secret compartment?

Laces? No laces? Colored laces? White laces? Tied? Untied?

The shoe tongue – color? shape? no tongue?

Will your shoe be open-toed, open-heel, cut-out shapes on the sides, and/or cover your entire foot?

How high will the back of your shoe go? Ankle? Knee? Mid-calf?

Will there be a logo on the back of the shoe?

What designs will you put on the left side of the right shoe and the right side of the left shoe? How will these designs reflect a part of you?

Sketch your shoe design. Give your shoes a name.

Think Deeper:  What if you turned a pair of shoes into a food item? Creative shoe designers at ShoeBakery have done just that.  Here are a few tempting, but unedible shoes.




Visit to see more inventive designs.

Now you:  Design a pair of shoes that look like your favorite food item or a mode of transportation.

Creative Thinking Prompt: What’s In A Name?


What’s In A Name?

Creative Thinking Prompt: What’s In A Name?

Names identify us. What if we could only introduce ourselves with an image rather than saying our names?

Make a list of at least 25 things that represent who you are.

Here’s a list of questions to get you started.

Where is your family from?

What’s your favorite food?

What things do you hold important?

What is your favorite season?

What is your favorite emoji?

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite smell?

Who do you admire? What characteristics about that person do you admire?

What are some of your favorite things to do?

What else identifies who you are?

Each letter of your name represents something about you. You can combine more than one thing within a letter. Each letter must connect in some way with the next letter in your name. This series of letter images represent you. As you work, Think Deeper.

Think Deeper:  Your personality has many different aspects. Each letters should reflect a part of your personality. Think about the colors you wish to use. Think about how to include patterns, textures, and shading. Think of the outline of each letter – will it be bold, tall, graffiti type, short, etc. How will each letter connect to the next? Next time someone asks you your name, flash your name image. It’ll say a lot about you without you having to utter a single word.

“Loving That ‘Stache”

“Loving That ‘Stache”
Mo’s Mustache

Mo’s friends admire his new mustache so that they decide they need one of their own. Mo desires to be unique. So he removes his mustache and wears a scarf to express his individuality. Soon Mo’s friends are wearing scarves too. Will Mo ever get to express himself without his friends copying him?


Author/Illustrator Ben Clanton’s quirky monster characters are hilarious and wonderfully display character personalities. This book promotes originality, humor, and uniqueness.

TITLE: Mo’s Mustache

AUTHOR: Ben Clanton


PUBLISHER: Tundra Books, 2013


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: originality, humor, uniqueness


1) Mo tries hard to make himself unlike everyone else. In what ways are you different from others? What makes you unique?

2) Find images of mustaches. How many different styles did you find? Were you surprised by some of the styles? Which one was your favorite? Now draw a funny picture of yourself. Add a mustache and a silly hairdo.

3) Do a word play on using the word mustache. Examples: I mustache you a question. I mustache you to read. I mustache you to feed me.


To learn more about author/illustrator Ben Clanton’s books, visit: