Monday, December 26, 2011

The Gift of Imagination

Are there still children who love to play with the box as much as they love to play with the item that came in it? I hope so!

I know for sure that there are still children who will create a dollhouse and dolls from scraps of paper, because there's one in my fourth grade class.

Here are a few books for those who have the gift of imagination, or for those who would blow the dust off theirs and bring it out to play.

Sea of Dreams
by Dennis Nolan
Roaring Brook Press, 2011
review copy provided by the publisher

In this gorgeous wordless picture book, a light comes on in the sandcastle the little girl leaves to the tides on the beach. As the waters swirl around the castle, a family escapes in a boat, survives a wild ride in a storm, and eventually washes up again to settle with a family of gulls. The girl comes back to the beach and makes another sandcastle, watched over by a gull. And as the sun sets and the tides wash around the castle, a light comes on in the tower window...

A Few Blocks
by Cybèle Young
Groundwood Books, 2011
review copy provided by the publisher

Ferdie doesn't want to go to school. "Not now," he said. "Maybe never..." But Ferdie's sister Viola knows how to get him moving. She holds out his coat and says, "Ferdie, look! I found your superfast cape! Quick -- put on your rocket-blaster books and we'll take off!" At this point, the black and white pencil sketch illustrations turn into full color 3-D paper sculptures...for as long as Ferdie's imagination stays engaged. Then Viola must come up with another imaginative scenario. In the end, Viola gets tired of having to be the one that provides the impetus to get Ferdie to school...but he comes through, and the two find the strength to walk the final block to school.

Inkblot: Drip, Splat, and Squish Your Way to Creativity
by Margaret Peot
Boyds Mills Press, 2011
review copy provided by the publisher

With a very few supplies (don't forget the apron -- India ink is permanent) and the easy-to-follow directions in this book, you could be the first inkblot artist on your block!

Not only are the directions clear, but the chapters progress nicely from the most basic to the most complicated designs/techniques. Spattered throughout the text (yes, pun intended) are short bios of "Inkblot Heroes," including (you guessed it) Hermann Rorschach, and others such as Victor Hugo, Justinus Kerner and Stefan G. Bucher.

The chapter on the Inkblot Sketchbook journal is the one that tugs at my imagination most strongly. Surely I've got a spare blank book somewhere on my shelves...I've got the ink, and I've got an apron...


  1. Great book choices. I think kids play less today not because they don't like it, but because parents discourage it by trying to keep them quiet all the time and want them out of their hair.

    ❤ Mor Zrihen ❤
    A Teacher's Treasure

  2. I just got Sea Dreams, think it might be a "wonder" book for writing ideas! I love hearing about the other two-sound so nice. That imagination is important. Have you seen this Geek Dad article? such fun!


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