Celebrating Creativity in New Picture Books

CreativityCreative thinking is usually at the heart of  both good stories and a wonderful illustrations.  Just what comes to mind when we think of children’s literature, right?   Luckily for us–and the kids in our lives–there are many new picture books that intentionally celebrate  the creative spirit.  These books show the power of  seeing the world through fresh lenses.   Enjoy!  And be sure to let us know the creative spirit that these stories unleash for you and your family.


MagritteMagritte’s Marvelous Hat by D.B. Johnson

“Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.” —Rene Magritte

The intriguing surrealism of Rene Magritte is captured in this fabulous new picture book that features Magritte as a dog, painting his masterpieces  thanks to a magical, floating,  very mischievous hat.  The 4 translucent pages are an amazing addition, as they help show the way Magritte alters the way we see the world through his paintings. Kid-tested by Hazel (age 6) and Charlotte (age 4),  Magritte’s Marvelous Hat is a sure winner.  We read it over and over, with fresh discoveries each time for kids and grown-ups alike.


The-Obstinate-PenThe Obstinate Pen by Frank W. Dormer

When authors sit down to write, they expect their pens to behave and write the words they tell it to.  What happens when you have an obstinate pen with a mind of its own? And what if the pen really enjoys insulting the writer with its writing?  An imaginative book with lots of insights about the writing process–not to mention some hilarious situations. The reactions of the different characters is beautifully captured in the watercolor and ink illustrations.  A laugh-out-loud book, great for read alouds.


PennyPenny and Her Song by Kevin Henkes

Penny is a delightful little mouse with a big imagination and a song in her heart.  A song she is eager to sing at home, but her parents are afraid she’ll wake the babies.  She sings it to herself, to her toys, but that’s just not enough.  When she finally performs for her family, they are thrilled and the whole family joins in, costumes and all.  I predict this book will inspire new songs from its young readers.  A warm and funny book with Kevin Henkes’ always winning illustrations.


greenGreen by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

When you think of the color green what comes to your mind?  Forest green?  Pea green?  Aquamarine?  Laura Vaccaro’s latest concept book is an ode to creativity with cut-outs on each richly painted page.  Thanks to her brilliance as an artist and book designer, the book becomes a true celebration of the multitude of hues of green.  And it’s not just the beautiful images that appeal to the senses, but the lyricism of the simple rhyming text.



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