The Dream Coach by Anne Parrish (illustrated by Dillwyn Parrish; Macmillan, 1924) is a collection of a poem and four stories that are named the dreams of four children around the world. The children include a princess, a boy from Norway, a young Chinese boy “emperor,” and a French boy in the countryside. Each story

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The picture book Scroll by Hui Lu (Christy Ottaviano Books, September 2023) teaches about Chinese characters and calligraphy with an imaginative dialog and dream featuring a grandfather and his granddaughter. This illustrated and imaginative approach to learning about the character-based language is a perfect match for a young child to become engaged and interested in

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Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace (HarperCollins, 1940) is a sweet chapter book about five-year-old friends who are across-the-street neighbors. The girls are so inseparable that they are called by a single name: Betsy-Tacy. Betsy is a creative girl who tells stories and Tacy is a shy and quiet girl who nurtures Betsy’s imagination. In many

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Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon (Dial Books, 2014) perfectly captures the thought process and imagination exaggeration of a super creative first grader. With a mix of text and comical illustrations, Hanlon puts together a fantasmagory (“a shifting melody of real or imagined characters”) of any imaginary play time. My very imaginative eight-year-old loved the mix

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Bing! Bang! Chugga! Beep! by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson (illustrated by Nathalie Beauvois; Brown Books Kids, 2023) is a bright and noisy car picture book with a bouncing rhyme scheme following the “This Old Man” tune. The common refrain of “Bing! Bang! Chugga! Beep!” adds to the simple couplets to make it simply

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If you could grow anything in your garden, what would you grow? In My Garden by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow, 2010), a little girl imagines the gorgeous garden she would grow if she could grow her own garden. In her garden, the flowers would be magical, the weeds would be non-existent, and she’d enjoy tasty chocolate

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The Nice Dream Truck by Beth Ferry and illustrated by Bridget Barrager (HarperCollins March 2021) is a fictional picture with the fun symbol of an ice cream truck as the deliverer of wonderful dreams. With a natural rhyme and rhythm, the book reads well as a bedtime story or a read aloud and everything in

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Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell (Knopf, 20218) is a delightful romp in a neighborhood full of imaginative children during the course of one summer. This graphic novel shows the stories of more than a dozen children with a variety of unique personalities who live on a couple blocks, and to the discerning reader, it gives

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The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (adapted by Slava Rubio, translated by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites, illustrated by Loreto Aroca) is a graphic novel about Dita Adler, a Jewish teenager in Czechoslovakia during World War II. She ultimately survived the WWII concentration camp Auschwitz with her love of books, stories, and imagination as a strength

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I Love You, Blankie! by Sheryl Haft and illustrated by Jane Massey (Little, Brown and Company, April 2015) is an adorable board book about a child imagining with a comfort blanket. I never used a comfort blanket myself, but my daughter loves to have a special blankie to snuggle (although she chooses from among a

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