Tag Archives: passion

Born to Draw Comics: The Story of Charles Schultz and the Creation of Peanuts

Born to Draw Comics: The Story of Charles Schultz and the Creation of Peanuts

Charles Schultz, nicknamed Sparky, grew up in Minnesota. He longed to be a professional cartoonist. After visiting a comic strip art exhibit at St. Paul Public Library with his parents, Sparky was more determined than ever. He ripped up all his drawings and began new sketches. He submitted a drawing of his dog Spike, which was published in newspapers. 

After high school, Sparky received many rejection letters but he didn’t stop drawing. After serving in the war, Sparky started drawing cartoons that involved round faced kids that became Li’l Folks and would then later develop into Peanuts.

This book promotes creative components of a creative person, passion, and perseverance.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK:  I like this book because Snoopy is one of my favorite characters. I couldn’t pass up reading about the cartoonist who brought Snoopy to life. Readers will be inspired by Charles Schultz’s life story to pursue their passions while learning about the evolution of Peanuts.

TITLE: Born to Draw Comics: The Story of Charles Schultz and the Creation of Peanuts

AUTHOR: Ginger Wadsworth


PUBLISHER: Christy Ottaviano Books, 2019


TOPIC(S): biography of Charles Schultz, Peanuts comic strip

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creative person, passion, perseverance


1) Remember a silly thing that happened to you. Draw a comic strip about that silly event using your favorite animal as the main character.

2) Charles Schultz was determined. Even as a child he wanted his drawings to be better, so he practiced and practiced. What is one thing that you would like to get better at? In what ways might you get better? Pick two choices and take action.

3) Who is your favorite Peanuts character and why? How are you like that character?


To learn more about author Ginger Wadsworth visit:


To learn more about illustrator Craig Orback visit:




Intro: Because a man named Ludwig wrote beautiful music—

a man named Franz was inspired to write his own. 

In this cause and effect story, readers learn how circumstances, luck, and hard work contribute to being a creative who in return inspires another person to be creative and pursue his/her dreams.

A girl attends a concert with her aunt because her uncle catches a cold. The music inspires her.

Because the music changed her, she works hard pursuing her passion.

Because her music is heard, she inspires another person.

And the cycle continues…

Who will you inspire today?

This story promotes creative components of the characteristics of a creative person and the creative process such as talent, hard work, inspiration, looking at what others have done in the past, and the role that luck play in the creative process.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book because this story demonstrates the components of the creative process and demonstrates that even though a person can be a creative individual that person also works hard at pursuing his/her passion. I truly appreciate the message of inspiration, and how readers can inspire themselves as well as others.

TITLE: Because

AUTHOR: Mo Willems


PUBLISHER: Hyperion Books for Children, 2019


TOPIC(S): music, inspiration

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creative person, creative process, inspiration


1) On a piece a paper, write the word inspiration. Draw, write words, or doodle what inspiration means to you. On the back of the paper, make a list of things that inspire you and/or evoke wonder for you. How might some of those things help you to inspire someone?

2) As you listen to a piece of music, draw with markers (because they move smoothly and quickly on paper) to create an image or doodle. Let your lines flow with the music.

3) How do you think a writer or illustrator are inspired to create a picture book?


To learn more about author Mo Willems, visit:


To learn more about illustrator Amber Ren, visit:


Hoop Kings

“Hoop Kings”

In this book, Hoop Kings, poet Charles R. Smith Jr. captures the essence of each basketball player with metaphoric analogies that shoot readers straight into the game.  

This story promotes creative components of imagination, flexible thinking, and passion.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book because these fast-paced poems inject readers into the game through word choice, poem line set up, and passion for the game while introducing the reader to each player’s style of play, skill set, and court personality.

TITLE:Hoop Kings

POEMS by: Charles R. Smith Jr.

PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press, 2004


TOPIC(S): poetry, basketball, word choice and analogies

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, flexible thinking, passion


1) Things that interest you so much that you want to learn more and more about them through reading, doing, and experimenting are called passions. What are some of your interests/passions? Create an independent study on one of your passions to learn more about it with the goal of producing an end product. Use your end product to teach others about your passion.

2) Who is one of your favorite sports players? It can be a famous athlete or someone you know. Jot down a list of adjectives that describe how this person plays her/his sport. Read your list and visualize that player, what does s/he remind you of? Next incorporate that into a metaphor to write a poem about your player.


To learn more about poet Charles R. Smith Jr., visit:


Listen to Charles R. Smith Jr., read some of his poems from Hoop Kingsin this Follow the Poems Series:

For additional classroom exercises, visit: