“Tomorrow I’ll Be Creative” with Picture Books!


I’m very excited to join the blog tour for Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave by Jessica Hische (Penguin Workshop; ages 3-7). This book is an upbeat, inspirational call to look toward tomorrow and all its possibilities. Tomorrow you can be anything. Use this post to help you and your littles be CREATIVE!

REWRITE A STORY: Find a story with room for creative re-writing and see where your imagination takes you!

I recommend starting with the rollicking fun How Could a Bear Sleep Here? by Julie Gonzalez, illustrated by Stephanie Laberis (Holiday House; ages 4-8). Follow a bear seeking to find a peaceful hibernation spot, and replace each of his unusual selections with your own hilarious ideas.

DRAW THE SAME PICTURE FROM MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES: Find a subject and draw it from different points of view!

For inspiration, read They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel (Chronicle Books; ages 5-6). Examine the cat’s image changes through the eyes of the different animals. Then pick your own subject and imagine how it would look to each of those same animals.

CREATE A DIORAMA: Pick a story with a great setting or scene and turn it into a diorama!

Clean Up, Up, Up! by Ellen Mayer, illustrated by Ying-Hwa Hu (Star Bright Books; ages 1-3), follows a father and young child while they clean up the child’s room and chat. With lots of spatial relation words and multiple illustrations of the room, there’s plenty of direction and detail to capture in a diorama.

PUT ON A PLAY: Find a book with several speaking characters and perform it as a play!

To get started, check out the Bear Snores On series by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman (Harcourt School Publishers; ages 5+). Adorable characters, straightforward plots, and fun dialogue make these books easily adapted for performance.

BUILD A FORT: Collect some cardboard, sheets, wrapping paper tubes, string, pillows or such and build the fort of your dreams!

For inspiration, check out King Jack and the Dragon by Peter Bently, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury (Dial Books; ages 3-5). Read about how Jack, Zach and Caspar turn a cardboard box and some sticks into a castle for King Jack and his men and then fight off dragons and beasts. Then get started on your own adventure!

MAKE A COSTUME: Dress up as your favorite barnyard animals by crafting silly costumes out of craft supplies and things found around the house!

Take a look at Turkey’s hilarious disguises in Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano, illustrated by Lee Harper (Two Lions; ages 2-7), as he tries to avoid Thanksgiving dinner. Create your own versions and see if you can blend in better than Turkey.

TRY OUT DIFFERENT ART STYLES: Find some fun art, and make some of your own using the same styles! To get you started, check out these fun styles:

Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light (Candlewick Press; ages 2-5) contrasts black and white line drawings with fun pops of color.

 The Catawampus Cat by Jason Carter Eaton, illustrated by Gus Gordon (Crown Books for Young Readers; ages 4-8), blends illustration and found images to make infinitely interesting images that blend imagination and reality.

 The Colorful World of Dinosaurs by Matt Sewell (Princeton Architectural Press; ages 7-10) imagines dinosaurs in gorgeous, blended and textured watercolors.

CREATE YOUR OWN FELT FRIEND: Design and construct your own, unique felt friend!

Read The Secrets of Ninja School by Deb Pilutti (Henry Holt and Co; ages 4-8) and then make your own felt Dragon Softie by following the included instructions. Once you have some experience, try out your own design and share your felt creations!

WRITE A LETTER TO YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER: Pick out a book and write a letter to your favorite character as if you are pen pals. Perhaps mail it to the author… you might just get a response!

For inspiration, read Dear Dinosaur: With Real Letters to Read! or Dear Dinosaur: T. Rex on Tour: With Real Letters to Read! by Chae Strathie, illustrated by Nicola O’Byrne (B.E.S. Publishing; ages 4-8). Packed full of letters written multiple styles — greeting card, postcard, email — you’re sure to find some pen pal inspiration.