Red, a red panda, mourns how all the books for pandas somehow omit red pandas! With the encouragement of his giant panda friend Gee, Red writes his own book about red pandas. The adorable picture book How This Book Got Red by Margaret Chiu Greanias and pictures by Melissa Iwai (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, October 2023) narrates

Read Post

The Line by Paula Bossio (Kids Can Press, 2013) is a wordless picture book that offers a unique look at how we can all be creative. In this book, a young girl notices a line and starts playing with it. She shakes it and watches it move; she forms it into a wild animal; she

Read Post

The Giant Book of Creativity for Kids by Bobbi Conner (Roost Books, March 2015) is just packed full of creative ideas for engaging our kids of all ages in fun and educational activities. In more than 400 pages, Ms Connor shares insights for incorporating crafts, music, movement, drawing, pretending, building, and more into the daily

Read Post

Draw-A-Saurus by  James Silvani (Ten Speed Press, September 2014) is the perfect book for a kid who loves two things: Drawing Dinosaurs I know one such kid, so I was delighted to come across this book. With clear step-by-step instructions, the author/illustrator shows the process for drawing realistically proportioned dinosaurs of all kinds. There is

Read Post

Fireflies: A Writer’s Notebook by Coleen Murtagh Paratore (Little Pickle Press, July 2014) is a delightful full-color journal for the aspiring writer. Filled with writing prompts and ideas, Fireflies is compared to a jar full of fireflies for you to watch for “sparks.” I loved this analogy. Although I am primarily a nonfiction writer (i.e., educational

Read Post

In The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (HarperCollins, 2012), a mall circus gorilla, Ivan, comes to view his life in captivity differently when a baby elephant, recently kidnapped from her home in Africa, joins the mall circus. With a poignant and distinct voice, The One and Only Ivan was a book that touched

Read Post

How To by Julie Morstad (Simply Read Books, 2013) has a non-traditional structure. Each page has a phrase to finish the beginning “How to,” coupled with a creative illustration to show how do do that thing. For example, “how to go fast” has a child on piggy back, a child on a scooter, a child with

Read Post

Crafty Chloe by KellyDiPucchio and illustrated by Heather Ross (Atheneum, 2012) is a sparkly book for the creative child, and yet my not-crafty five-year-old son enjoyed it too. Chloe is not good at sports or dancing or video games like some of her friends, but she is good at making things. When her friend has

Read Post

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson (Simon and Schuster, 2003) is a fantastic portrait of a complex man. I have always loved Ben Franklin (ever since I read Ben and Me by Robert Lawlor as a child). Reading Isaacson’s biography helped me to see why I liked it him so much: he was,

Read Post