Tag Archives: originality

Mary Had A Little Lizard

“Mary Had A Little Lizard”

Best friends Mary and Lizard do everything together. When school starts, Lizard grabs his collar and leash.

But Lizard is not allowed to go to school with Mary. When he sees Mary’s open backpack, he sneaks inside.

And surprises Mary.

At school, Mary hides Lizard in her cubby but Lizard has other plans. Classroom chaos soon ensues.

Read this wordless picture book to find out what happens next.

This book promotes the creative component of originality.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK:  I like this book because the author/illustrator Kayla Harren does such a great job of storytelling through her expressive characters and clever take on the classic song “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

TITLE: Mary Had A Little Lizard

AUTHOR: Kayla Harren


PUBLISHER: Sky Pony Press, 2017


TOPIC(S): going to school, friendship



1) Rewrite your own version of a nursery rhyme such as Humpty Dumpty. Think about changing the setting, switching one of the characters or altering the final outcome.

2) Lizard and Mary loved painting. Create handprint art. Dab the palm and fingers of your hand with paint. Then press onto a blank sheet of paper. When your print has dried, add other elements to it to change it into something else like a spider or fish or even a lizard.


To learn more about author/illustrator Kayla Harren, visit:


A Meal of the Stars: Poems Up and Down

“A Meal of the Stars: Poems Up and Down”

In this poetry picture book, poetry is turned on its head. Some poems are meant to be read from the bottom up while others are meant to be read from the top to the bottom. Readers need to figure out whether the poem should be read up or down.

Read up or down?

Read down or up?

Illustrations marry beautifully with the up and down poems to reveal the extraordinary in the ordinary. 

This book promotes creative components of perspective and imagination.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK:  I like this book because the poem structure adds depth to the meaning of each poem. I adore the illustrations, which also bring another layer to reading these poems.

TITLE: A Meal of the Stars: Poems Up and Down

AUTHOR: Dana Jensen


PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2012


TOPIC(S): poetry

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: perspective, imagination


1) Think of things that fall or rise up. Pick one of these things and write a “skinny” poem where the reader has to figure out whether to read it up or read it down.

2) Let’s turn things around. Think of things that are long in length. For example, a semi-truck is long.  Write a short poem about your long item by writing it lengthwise – one long line.


To learn more about author Dana Jensen, visit:

A webpage for Dana Jensen could not be located, but here is a little bit about him: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-meal-of-the-stars-dana-jensen/1110914062

To learn more about illustrator Tricia Tusa, visit:


Before After

“Before After”

Before After, a wordless book of opposites, elevates opposite storytelling to another level. This book gives readers pause to think as they digest the cause and effect relationship between the before and after pictures.

This nice thick book offers lots of pairings to explore.

This book promotes creative components of nature, cause and effect, and originality.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book because it is not your typical opposite book and makes readers think about what happened that caused the after picture. This book would provide great discussions between child and caregiver as they read the pictures together.

TITLE: Before After

ILLUSTRATORS: Anne-Margot Ramstein and Matthias Arégui 

PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press, 2014


TOPIC(S): cause and effect

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: original, nature


1) Draw a picture of one of your favorite things in nature. This will be your before picture. Think about what different things can happen to your nature item. Pick one and draw your after picture. Share with a friend.

2) Let’s work backwards or do the reverse by first drawing the after picture and then drawing the before picture of another favorite nature item.

3) Pick a plant, animal, or tree. Next draw its life cycle in stages.


To learn more about author Anne-Margot Ramstein, visit:


To learn more about illustrator Matthias Arégui, visit: