“The Green Umbrella”
On a rainy day, Elephant went for a walk with his green umbrella. Along the way, he encounters animals that think his umbrella is something else. Hedgehog thinks it’s a boat while Cat thinks it’s a tent. Bear thinks it’s a flying machine. Elephant tells them that they are mistaken. Eventually, Elephant shares his umbrella with his new friends.
This book promotes flexible thinking and imagination.
TITLE: The Green Umbrella
AUTHOR: Jackie Azúa Kramer
ILLUSTRATOR: Maral Sassouni
PUBLISHER: NorthSouth Books Inc., 2017
AGE GROUP: 5-8
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: flexible thinking, imagination
1) Change the color of the green umbrella. Brainstorm a list of other things the umbrella can be.
2) Elephant used his umbrella to protect himself from the rain and the sun. What are some other things that serve the same purpose? Pick one item from that list. What else can that item be used for?
To learn more about author Jackie Azúa Kramer, visit:
To learn more about illustrator Maral Sassouni, visit:
Creative Thinking Prompt: Wizard of Oz
Create an alternate storyline for Dorothy and the Wizard.
Pretend you are Dorothy and you are traveling the yellow brick road to see the wizard. The road isn’t yellow, it’s ______ (color) and it’s made of ________. Why do you need to see the Wizard? As you travel you come across four travelers: ___________, ______________, ____________, and _________ who also need to see the Wizard. Why do they need to see the Wizard? When you meet the Wizard, what does she/he look like? What power does the Wizard have to grant your wish? Will your wish be granted? If not, what happens next? If yes, what happens next?
What if Dorothy and the Wizard switch places and the Wizard visits Dorothy because she has the power to grant wishes?
Creative Thinking Prompt: Feed Your Imagination
Imagination is more important than knowledge. – Albert Einstein
How do you feed your imagination? What fills you with wonder?
To get started, answer these questions.
When do you feel inspired?
What inspires you?
Why does ______ inspire you?
Where do you feel inspired?
Who inspires you?
How does _______ inspire you?
Brainstorm ways to spark your imagination and inspire wonder. Pick one thing to do each day.
Here are a few to try.
Take a walk outside.
View something in a way you haven’t looked at it before.
Go to a discovery museum.
Read a book that has no words.
Look at the stars.
take time to fuel your imagination often.
An oldie but a goodie, Imogene’s Antlers still delivers a creative, entertaining story after being published 32 years old ago.
Opening line: “On Thursday, when Imogene woke up she found she had grown antlers.”
While family and friends help to rid Imogene of her antlers, Imogene takes a different approach and uses her antlers for other purposes.
Watch for the clever story ending.
This book promotes imagination, wonder and creative problem solving.
TITLE: Imogene’s Antlers
AUTHOR: David Small
ILLUSTRATOR: David Small
PUBLISHER: Crown Publishers, 1985
AGE GROUP: 5-7
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, wonder, creative problem solving
1) When you have finished reading the book, continue Imogene’s story by writing about what happens next.
2) In addition to Imogene’s creative solutions, what else could she use her antlers for? Try to think up at least five more uses.
3) If you were to discover that you woke up with an animal body part, what body part would it be, how would you react, and what could you use that additional part for?
To learn more about author/illustrator David Small, visit:
Creative Thinking Prompt: Flower Portrait Art
Do as artist Vicki of the Sister Golden Company does, create portraits with nature. Take a walk, collecting nature items such as twigs, petals, acorns, seeds, sand, flowers, leaves, etc. Ask permission before taking and/or cutting flowers. Sketch out your portrait idea. Use a flat surface such as a sidewalk to create your art. When you are done, take a picture and then allow nature to take your art wherever the wind may blow.
To view more flower portrait and nature art, visit:
Creative Thinking Prompt: Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles
Make your own bubble blowing wands to create unique bubbles.
Materials: pipecleaners, low gauge wire
Bend into shapes. Dip into bubble solution. Blow.
What happened? Were your bubbles the shape of your wand? How big or small were your bubbles? How many bubbles can you blow before having to dip your wand back into the solution?
Blow bubbles onto a piece of paper to make bubble art. Color the bubble solution with drops of food coloring.
Write your name using bubble letters. Blow colored bubbles onto your bubble letters.
Think Deeper: Create an image using bubbles to “color” your image. And experiment with ingredients to make your own bubble recipe.
Creative Thinking Prompt:
You Are The Storyteller: A Coloring Story
Collect several different coloring books. With an adult’s permission, tear out pages that spark your interest. Color these pages. Combine different mediums such as markers, colored pencils, and ink. Remember it’s okay to color outside the lines. Next embellish these pages with textured 3D objects such as ribbons, buttons, glitter, etc. Once your pages are complete, organize them in such a way that they tell a story. Tell your story to others. You are the storyteller while your pictures are the visual story.
In book, readers discover why books are anything but ordinary.
Look closer, closer, CLOSER.
Readers will lose themselves within the worlds of the whimsical illustrations and warm storytelling. Come read and see for yourself. What worlds will your imagination take you to?
This book promotes imagination and discovery.
AUTHOR: David Miles
ILLUSTRATOR: Natalie Hoopes
PUBLISHER: Familius LLC, 2015
AGE GROUP: 5-7
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, discovery
1) Build a fort or a chair from piles of books.
2) Create a make-believe world that you would like to visit.
3) Visit your local library.
To learn more about author David Miles, visit:
To learn more about illustrator Natalie Hoopes, visit:
Creative Thinking Prompt: Design Your Pool
In the dog days of summer, wouldn’t it be great if you had a pool that had everything you wanted? Design a pool that fits your style.
Here are some pool designs to inspire you.
Think Deeper: What else can your pool be used for besides swimming?
“Beard In A Box”
In Beard In A Box written and illustrated by Bill Cotter, a young boy wants to be just like his dad. He determines that Dad gets his awesomeness from his beard.
He needs a beard, too.
He follows the 5 step program: picks a style, plants seeds, waters, does face exercises and then… Step 5: Wait 10-15 years. UGH!!
Then things get worse when his dad shaves off his beard. Double UGH!!
In the end, Dad shows his son how to be awesome.
This book promotes imagination, humor and creativity.
TITLE: Beard In A Box
AUTHOR: Bill Cotter
ILLUSTRATOR: Bill Cotter
PUBLISHER: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016
AGE GROUP: 5-7
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creativity, humor, imagination
1) Design a new beard style.
2) Brainstorm a list of words that you associate with awesomeness. From your list, pick one word to describe your dad and one word to describe you. Combine these two words to invent a new word. Use this new word to write an acrostic poem about your relationship with your dad. (You can also use this exercise with others that you love even your pet.)
To learn more about author/illustrator Bill Cotter, visit: