An Award-Winning Book Club for Kids
Shop Now

Creativity: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about creativity?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to creativity. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about creativity.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about creativity, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Paper Bag Princess to popular sellers like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Bad Beginning.

We hope this list of kids books about creativity can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About Creativity

#1
Add to list
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
Written & illustrated by Audrey Wood and Don Wood
Thoughts from Grammy
I have long loved this book and read it literally hundreds of times. The likable Little Mouse, loaded with personality, expends great effort and imagination to protect the strawberry from the thieving bear. Use of varying font sizes cues the reader and adds to the drama and suspense as do the delightful illustrations. There is one illustration in particular, where the mouse is desperately tugging on the stem of the strawberry, in which the manner of illustrating--visual vibrations-- communicate perfectly the mouse's actions. With plenty of suspense and humor along the way, this story has a satisfying ending, although it does leave one wondering just who has been speaking to the mouse.
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
First published in 1984, a picture book in which the Little Mouse will do all he can to save his strawberry from the Big, Hungry Bear, even if it means sharing it with the reader. The Little Mouse and the Big Hungry Bear are known and loved by millions of children around the world. Little Mouse loves strawberries, but so does the bear...How will Little Mouse stop the bear from eating his freshly picked, red, ripe strawberry.
#2
Add to list
This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer
Written by Joan Holub & illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5
Learn all about influential women who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for trailblazers-in-training! Paving the way to a future that’s bright. Helping the world with their skills, smarts, and might. Little trailblazers cause great big changes. In this follow up to This Little President and This Little Explorer, now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering female trailblazers in history! Highlighting ten memorable women leaders who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this girl power primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.
#3
Add to list
To the Sea
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
I absolutely LOVE To the Sea. The text is simple and relatively sparse, making it a pretty quick read while tackling the issues of loneliness and friendship in a kid-friendly and optimistic way. To help his friend get back to the sea, Tim brainstorms his best ideas and the sifts through them to find the perfect one... then puts in the hard work of pulling a whale on a bicycle to make it happen! The illustrations are fun, modern and so expressive—such a fun read aloud!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Sometimes Tim feels invisible at school-until one day, when Tim meets Sam. But Sam isn't just any new friend: he's a blue whale, and he can't find his way home! Returning Sam to the sea is hard work, but Tim is determined to help. After all, it's not every day you meet a new friend! This picture book about the power of friendship by new talent Cale Atkinson is brought to life by charming, dynamic illustrations.
#4
Add to list
Dough Knights and Dragons
Written by Dee Leone & illustrated by George Ermos
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I think this book is so fun! I love that the unlikely pair become friends, use their creativity and problem-solving skills, and most of all, that they stand up for what they think is right! Very cute illustrations, too! :)
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
In a mythical kingdom, a knight and a dragon cook up a delicious plan to save their friendship! In Dough Knights and Dragons, a curious knight and an amiable dragon meet serendipitously, and instantly bond over their shared love of baking. But the friends are filled with sadness when, according to the law, the two must duel one another. Can the unlikely pair find a way to evade the law, save their friendship, and spread good throughout the land? Kids will devour this scrumptiously clever tale!
#5
Add to list
Rosie Revere, Engineer
Written by Andrea Beaty & illustrated by David Roberts
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I love this book! The fun and colorful illustrations and rhyme text are wonderful, but the story and message are the best. Rosie's a great female role-model and I love that she learns the great lesson that "the only true failure can come if you quit." Even when embarrassment or failure hold her back, she keeps on trying and recognizes that failure is a step towards success!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal—to fly—Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true. But when her contraption doesn’t fly but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. On the contrary, Aunt Rose insists that Rosie’s contraption was a raging success: you can only truly fail, she explains, if you quit. From the powerhouse author-illustrator team of Iggy Peck, Architect comes Rosie Revere, Engineer, another charming, witty picture book about believing in yourself and pursuing your passion. Ada Twist, Scientist, the companion picture book featuring the next kid from Iggy Peck's class, is available in September 2016.
#6
Add to list
Harold and the Purple Crayon
Written & illustrated by Crockett Johnson
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This book is a wonderful example of imagination leading to creation. I love how when Harold makes a mistake with his purple crayon, he quickly thinks of an innovative solution to change his journey. :)
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Essential Picture Book Classics—timeless stories for every child to treasure. "One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight." Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of wonder and excitement. Full of funny twists and surprises, this joyful story shows just how far your imagination can take you. Harold and the Purple Crayon has delighted readers of all ages for over fifty years.
#7
Add to list
Max's Castle
Written by Kate Banks & illustrated by Boris Kulikov
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato
This is definitely a great book on introducing the idea of innovation and it's done in a very clever manner. Many of the objects and words in the book are made out of letter blocks and Max gets himself out of danger by rearranging those word blocks or swapping one letter out for another. For example, when facing a dangerous adder, Max borrows a block with the letter "L" to turn the dangerous snake into a useful ladder.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
When Max finds a pile of forgotten toys under the bed, his brothers Benjamin and Karl wonder what’s so special about some old blocks. So Max shows them. With some clever twists of both blocks and imagination, he constructs not only a castle but an entire adventure, complete with pirates and knights, a dark dungeon and a dragon. This ingenious sequel to Max’s Words and Max’s Dragons shows readers just how much fun wordplay can be.
#8
Add to list
When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree
Written by Jamie L. B. Deenihan & illustrated by Lorraine Rocha
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." In this imaginative take on that popular saying, a child is surprised to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. After all, she DID ask for a new gadget! But when she follows the narrator's careful--and funny--instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all.
#9
Add to list
Solutions for Cold Feet
Written & illustrated by Carey Sookocheff
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
What do you do when you're missing a shoe? When you're caught in the rain? Or when your ice cream melts? Solutions for Cold Feet is a sweet and gently humorous look at practical and creative answers for all the little daily problems in one young girl's life, including her exuberant and pesky dog. Will her dog, who starts out as a problem, end up as solution?
#10
Add to list
The Big Ideas of Buster Bickles
Written & illustrated by Dave Wasson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Buster Bickles's big ideas are always getting him into trouble. But when Buster gets to test the newly invented What-if Machine, anything Buster imagines becomes reality. Packed with rivers of chocolate, robot dinosaurs, and eggs-ray vision, the world becomes Buster's creation in this fantastically creative picture book by debut author-illustrator Dave Wasson.
Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Creativity and...

Books About Creativity and Problem Solving

Add to list
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
Written & illustrated by Audrey Wood and Don Wood
Thoughts from Grammy
I have long loved this book and read it literally hundreds of times. The likable Little Mouse, loaded with personality, expends great effort and imagination to protect the strawberry from the thieving bear. Use of varying font sizes cues the reader and adds to the drama and suspense as do the delightful illustrations. There is one illustration in particular, where the mouse is desperately tugging on the stem of the strawberry, in which the manner of illustrating--visual vibrations-- communicate perfectly the mouse's actions. With plenty of suspense and humor along the way, this story has a satisfying ending, although it does leave one wondering just who has been speaking to the mouse.
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
First published in 1984, a picture book in which the Little Mouse will do all he can to save his strawberry from the Big, Hungry Bear, even if it means sharing it with the reader. The Little Mouse and the Big Hungry Bear are known and loved by millions of children around the world. Little Mouse loves strawberries, but so does the bear...How will Little Mouse stop the bear from eating his freshly picked, red, ripe strawberry.
Add to list
To the Sea
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
I absolutely LOVE To the Sea. The text is simple and relatively sparse, making it a pretty quick read while tackling the issues of loneliness and friendship in a kid-friendly and optimistic way. To help his friend get back to the sea, Tim brainstorms his best ideas and the sifts through them to find the perfect one... then puts in the hard work of pulling a whale on a bicycle to make it happen! The illustrations are fun, modern and so expressive—such a fun read aloud!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Sometimes Tim feels invisible at school-until one day, when Tim meets Sam. But Sam isn't just any new friend: he's a blue whale, and he can't find his way home! Returning Sam to the sea is hard work, but Tim is determined to help. After all, it's not every day you meet a new friend! This picture book about the power of friendship by new talent Cale Atkinson is brought to life by charming, dynamic illustrations.
Add to list
Dough Knights and Dragons
Written by Dee Leone & illustrated by George Ermos
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I think this book is so fun! I love that the unlikely pair become friends, use their creativity and problem-solving skills, and most of all, that they stand up for what they think is right! Very cute illustrations, too! :)
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
In a mythical kingdom, a knight and a dragon cook up a delicious plan to save their friendship! In Dough Knights and Dragons, a curious knight and an amiable dragon meet serendipitously, and instantly bond over their shared love of baking. But the friends are filled with sadness when, according to the law, the two must duel one another. Can the unlikely pair find a way to evade the law, save their friendship, and spread good throughout the land? Kids will devour this scrumptiously clever tale!
Honorable Mentions
Rosie Revere, Engineer book
Add to list
Solutions for Cold Feet book
Add to list
The Big Ideas of Buster Bickles book
Add to list
Duncan the Story Dragon book
Add to list
  1. Rosie Revere, Engineer - B is for Bookworm -

    I love this book! The fun and colorful illustrations and rhyme text are wonderful, but the story and message are the best. Rosie's a great female role-model and I love that she learns the great lesson that "the only true failure can come if you quit." Even when embarrassment or failure hold her back, she keeps on trying and recognizes that failure is a step towards success!

  2. Solutions for Cold Feet - What do you do when you’re missing a shoe? When you’re caught in the rain? Or when your ice cream melts? Solutions for Cold Feet is a sweet and gently humorous look at practical and creative answers for all the little daily problems in one young girl’s life, including her exuberant and pesky dog. Will her dog, who starts out as a problem, end up as solution?

  3. The Big Ideas of Buster Bickles - Buster Bickles’s big ideas are always getting him into trouble. But when Buster gets to test the newly invented What-if Machine, anything Buster imagines becomes reality. Packed with rivers of chocolate, robot dinosaurs, and eggs-ray vision, the world becomes Buster’s creation in this fantastically creative picture book by debut author-illustrator Dave Wasson.

  4. Duncan the Story Dragon - Mom of Boys -

    Poor Duncan. He loves to read, but because he is a fire breathing dragon he can't seem to ever get to the end of the book without it catching fire. Talk about a problem that needs solving! Instead of giving up and becoming miserable, he finds the best solution of involving someone else, creating a lasting friendship. I like that this story shows that sometimes we do need to turn outwards and ask for help for some things we can't do on our own. This can be difficult, but often creates the most rewarding experiences.

Books About Creativity and Innovation

Add to list
This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer
Written by Joan Holub & illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5
Learn all about influential women who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for trailblazers-in-training! Paving the way to a future that’s bright. Helping the world with their skills, smarts, and might. Little trailblazers cause great big changes. In this follow up to This Little President and This Little Explorer, now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering female trailblazers in history! Highlighting ten memorable women leaders who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this girl power primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.
Add to list
Harold and the Purple Crayon
Written & illustrated by Crockett Johnson
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This book is a wonderful example of imagination leading to creation. I love how when Harold makes a mistake with his purple crayon, he quickly thinks of an innovative solution to change his journey. :)
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Essential Picture Book Classics—timeless stories for every child to treasure. "One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight." Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of wonder and excitement. Full of funny twists and surprises, this joyful story shows just how far your imagination can take you. Harold and the Purple Crayon has delighted readers of all ages for over fifty years.
Add to list
Max's Castle
Written by Kate Banks & illustrated by Boris Kulikov
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato
This is definitely a great book on introducing the idea of innovation and it's done in a very clever manner. Many of the objects and words in the book are made out of letter blocks and Max gets himself out of danger by rearranging those word blocks or swapping one letter out for another. For example, when facing a dangerous adder, Max borrows a block with the letter "L" to turn the dangerous snake into a useful ladder.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
When Max finds a pile of forgotten toys under the bed, his brothers Benjamin and Karl wonder what’s so special about some old blocks. So Max shows them. With some clever twists of both blocks and imagination, he constructs not only a castle but an entire adventure, complete with pirates and knights, a dark dungeon and a dragon. This ingenious sequel to Max’s Words and Max’s Dragons shows readers just how much fun wordplay can be.
Honorable Mentions
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer book
Add to list
This Little Scientist: A Discovery Primer book
Add to list
Even Monsters Need Haircuts book
Add to list
Lily Wool book
Add to list
  1. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Lemony Snickers -

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a memorable classic with an entertaining mix of juvenile musings and attitude, elementary-school-style romance, sneaky midnight blood oaths with best friends, and of course, the silent witness of a graveyard murder. At its climax, Tom Sawyer keeps readers on edge as they tread carefully--and then frantically--with Tom through the cave where the runaway killer hides.

  2. This Little Scientist: A Discovery Primer - The Book Snob Mom -

    The whole "This Little..." series so far has been excellent, and this is no exception. Jam-packed with famous scientists and innovators, This Little Scientist does a great job of featuring a broad spectrum of great minds of diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise all throughout history. One of my favorite things about this book is that it teaches real science and history with cadence and rhyme that makes it easy to learn and since it's enjoyable to read again and again... it starts to stick! Another big plus of this book for me is that depending on a child's current attention level you can choose to read just the left-hand pages, just the right-hand pages, or both, and the flow is great any way you do it!

  3. Even Monsters Need Haircuts - B is for Bookworm -

    This little boy sees a need (all the monsters need haircuts, too!) and finds a creative way to solve the problem and fill the need. :)

  4. Lily Wool - The Goodfather -

    Lily Wool is such a playful and inventive tale! I love the message of the story, that Lily Wool embraces her differences to find her unique voice and contribution among the members of her flock. As a business owner myself, I also love her resourcefulness in opening her seamstress shop!

Books About Creativity and Social Themes

Add to list
When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree
Written by Jamie L. B. Deenihan & illustrated by Lorraine Rocha
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." In this imaginative take on that popular saying, a child is surprised to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. After all, she DID ask for a new gadget! But when she follows the narrator's careful--and funny--instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all.
Add to list
The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel
Written & illustrated by Natasha Lowe
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Penderwicks meets Edward Eager in this charming coming of age tale about a young witch found in a flowerpot who’s on a journey to discover her roots. The morning Nora Ratcliff finds a baby in the flowerpot on her front steps her life changes forever. She had always wanted a child, but after her husband passed away, Nora never thought she would have one, but her flowerpot child was a miracle and she decided to name her Mabel. As Mabel grew up, she showed a distinct talent for magic. When Mabel is accepted to the prestigious witch school, Ruthersfield Academy, she excels at the magic curriculum but is constantly in trouble for experimenting and inventing her own potions. One day she is asked to write a paper on her magical roots and discovers the truth about her birth after a mean classmate blurts out what everyone seems to know except Mabel. Mabel is shocked but the revelation does explain a lot. In rebellion, Mabel changes her name to Magnolia and tries to understand why she was left in the flowerpot and who her birth family might be. Will Mabel find the answers she’s looking for—or will she discover that families are people who love each other and look after each other and that’s most important of all.
Add to list
Love Monster and the Perfect Present
Written & illustrated by Rachel Bright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Everyone in Cutesville is excited for the most special day of the year: Present Day! Love Monster goes on a hunt for the perfect gift for his special someone, but as it turns out, finding the perfect gift is not easy. And the only thing worse than a not-perfect present is no present at all. But Love Monster soon comes up with the idea for the best gift ever—one that comes straight from his furry heart.
Honorable Mentions
The Nowhere Box book
Add to list
Linus The Little Yellow Pencil book
Add to list
Izzy Gizmo and the Invention Convention book
Add to list
Happy Dreamer book
Add to list
  1. The Nowhere Box - Frustrated by little brothers who follow him everywhere and wreck his toys and games, George commandeers an empty washing machine box for an imaginative escape that is free of pirates, dragons and bothersome younger siblings.

  2. Linus The Little Yellow Pencil - Linus and his eraser, Ernie, don’t always see eye to eye. But with the family art show drawing near, these two will have to sharpen their collaboration to make something neither one could do on their own! This ode to art by the illustrator of Spoon and Chopsticks points out the power of sharing the creative process and sticking with it.

  3. Izzy Gizmo and the Invention Convention - In this companion to the award-winning Izzy Gizmo, Izzy Gizmo returns (together with Grandpa and Fixer) in a charming and eccentric tale of ambition, perseverance, and finding your inner strength. Izzy Gizmo has been invited to Technoff Isle’s annual convention where the inventor of the best machine will win coveted admittance to the Genius Guild. Great inventors produce gadgets that can be put to good use, so Izzy Gizmo decides to build a recycling machine that mends broken tools. But with fearsome foe Abi von Lavish getting the best of her at every turn, can Izzy Gizmo and Fixer create the winning invention? Featuring the creative and much-loved heroine of color, this wonderfully exuberant story has serious points to make about the importance of make do and mend.

  4. Happy Dreamer - A “dreamer maximus” describes the many ways one can dream, and the importance of being a happy dreamer.

Books About Creativity and Friendship

Add to list
Square
Written by Mac Barnett & illustrated by Jon Klassen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9
The beguiling second entry in the innovative shape trilogy by multi-award-winning, New York Times best-selling duo Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. This book is about Square. Square spends every day taking blocks from a pile below the ground to a pile above the ground. This book is also about Square's friend Circle. Circle thinks Square is an artistic genius. But is he really? With the second story in a trilogy of tales about Triangle, Square, and Circle, Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen nudge readers toward a more well-rounded way of looking at things. Understated and striking in its simplicity, this funny, thoughtful offering from two of today's most talented picture-book creators emphasizes the importance of keeping your eyes -- and your mind -- open to wonder where others see only rubble and rocks.
Add to list
Lola Dutch
Written & illustrated by Kenneth Wright and Sarah Jane Wright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Meet Lola Dutch, a delightfully creative girl who is bursting with grand ideas. From the best ways to serve breakfast -- an elegant feast! -- to the ideal sleeping spot -- a majestic blanket fort, of course! -- Lola is inspired all day long. Her dear companion Bear sometimes says she is just too much, but Lola is rich with imagination and originality, which even Bear will agree is AMAZING.The unstoppable Lola Dutch is about to show you how to make every day grand and full of fun. You'll love her so much! Inspired by their own four gorgeously feisty children, Sarah Jane and Kenneth Wright are thrilled to introduce the unstoppable Lola Dutch and her fresh, fun, commercial, character-driven series.
Add to list
Melia and Jo
Written & illustrated by Billy Aronson and Jennifer Oxley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Melia is scientific and loves to create things in her backyard laboratory, but something is missing. Her inventions just aren’t quite right. Enter Jo, her new friend with an artistic spirit. When you add the arts to sciences, something magical happens! This whimsically illustrated picture book is the perfect introduction to the benefits of STEAM-focused curriculum.
Honorable Mentions
Brimsby's Hats book
Add to list
Emily's Idea book
Add to list
Nola's Scribbles Save the Day book
Add to list
Out of Place book
Add to list
  1. Brimsby's Hats - A lonely hat maker uses quirky creativity to make friends in this delightful picture book that will charm readers young and old. Brimsby is a happy hat maker—until his best friend goes off to find adventure at sea. Now Brimsby is a lonely hat maker, unsure of what to do. But since making hats is what he does best, perhaps his talents can help him find some friends… Filled with whimsy and wonder, Brimsby’s Hats is a celebration of creativity and friendship.

  2. Emily's Idea - How a simple creative act spreads a message of love and acceptance around the world? Emily’s idea started small. Many beautiful ideas do. She folded, doodled, and snipped. But also, like many ideas, Emily’s small idea grew. When a little girl decides to create a paper chain of dolls, her idea catches on. Then it spreads far and wide as children around the world begin to create and share their own. This is the story of how that girl makes it happen.

  3. Nola's Scribbles Save the Day - Nola loves her scribbles. They go with her wherever she goes. But she can’t seem to share her scribbles with others―no one seems to understand the imaginative world she’s created for herself. Frustrated and uninspired, Nola draws a blank. A big, boring blank. But when Nola falls deep into a creative slump, she discovers she’s not alone. If she can find the courage to share her scribbled ideas again, she may just inspire others to think outside the box and give their ideas a try too. With playful illustrations, this imaginative tale shows readers of all ages the power in persevering to create and embrace unique expression.

  4. Out of Place - When twelve-year-old Cove Bernstein becomes the target of a school-wide bullying campaign, she sets out to find a way to leave her home on Martha’s Vineyard for New York City, where her best friend lives. But Cove discovers that friends can appear in the unlikeliest places, and maybe home isn’t the worst place to be after all. Jennifer Blecher’s debut novel is a voice-driven story about bullying, friendship, and self-reliance that hits the sweet spot for fans of Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish and Erin Entrada Kelly’s You Go First. Twelve-year-old Cove Bernstein’s year has gone from bad to worse. First, her best friend, Nina, moved from Martha’s Vineyard to New York City. Then, without Nina around, Cove became the target of a bullying campaign at school. Escape seems impossible. But opportunities can appear when you least expect them. Cove’s visit to a secondhand clothing store leads her to a surprising chance to visit Nina, but only if she can win a coveted place in a kids-only design competition. Cove doesn’t know how to sew, but her friend at the retirement home, Anna, has promised to teach her. And things start really looking up when a new kid at school, Jack, begins appearing everywhere Cove goes. Then Cove makes a big mistake. One that could ruin every good thing that has happened to her this year. One that she doesn’t know how to undo. Jennifer Blecher’s accessible and beautifully written debut novel explores actions and consequences, loneliness, bullying, and finding your voice. This voice-driven friendship story is for fans of Rebecca Stead’s Goodbye Stranger and Jodi Kendall’s The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City. Includes black-and-white spot art throughout.

Want to see books about friendship?

Books About Creativity and Crafts

Add to list
Leafy Critters
Written by Yvonne Lacet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
**A unique and practical children's art-and-craft book, perfect for those who love Eric Carle, that looks to the natural world for inspiration and artistic materials.** An exuberant call to go outside, _Leafy Critters_ inspires a deep appreciation for nature, art, and animals. Perfect for parents, teachers, and anyone searching for novel projects for kids of all ages. Printed on FSC-certified paper with vegetable-based inks.
Add to list
Sylvia Long's Big Book for Small Children
Written & illustrated by Sylvia Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Sylvia Long has been creating bestselling children's books for more than 25 years. Her edition of Mother Goose rhymes is a modern classic, and Sylvia Long's Big Book for Small Children, her latest compendium, is destined to become another nursery staple. From beloved stories like "The Three Little Pigs" and important early childhood concepts (colors, counting, ABCs) to her own family's favorite recipes and lullabies, this warm, joyous, and comprehensive collection is the perfect start to every child's library.
Add to list
The Weaver
Written by Thacher Hurd & illustrated by Elisa Kleven
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
As the sun rises, the weaver begins her work, spinning thread, dying it, and then weaving it into a cloth along with the signs of love and friendship she sees down on earth. At the end of the day, the weaver spreads this extraordinary cloth over us, to warm and protect us all through the night. This is a joyful, soothing, gorgeously illustrated bedtime story about the love between family and friends all over the world—and even beyond it. The Weaver is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
Honorable Mentions
Boats for Papa book
Add to list
Tie-Dye Disaster book
Add to list
Breaking the Piggy Bank book
Add to list
Christmas Is Coming! An Advent Book book
Add to list
  1. Boats for Papa - Buckley and his Mama live in a cozy cabin by the ocean. He loves to carve boats, each one more beautiful than the last, out of the driftwood he finds on the beach nearby. He sends them out to see and if they don’t come back, he knows they’ve found their way to his papa, whom he misses very much.

  2. Tie-Dye Disaster - In this third book of the Craftily Ever After chapter book series, Maddie, Emily, Bella, and Sam accidentally tie-dye a shirt Maddie’s mother made for the mayor! Emily Adams, Maddie Wilson, Bella Diaz, and Sam Sharma are eight-year-olds with one special thing in common: they love to create. They each have unique talents, too! Emily is great at constructing and building; Maddie has an eye for fashion, fabrics, and sewing; Bella is a gadget whiz; and Sam is a gifted artist. Together, these four crafty friends dream up new projects to design, build, and create and through their experiences, they’ll learn how to handle various obstacles at school and in their everyday eight-year-old lives. Maddie gets her knack for fashion and sewing from her mom, a seamstress. And she’s made a lot for an eight-year-old—from theater costumes, to brand-new pairs of pants, to pillows for the Craft Clubhouse. But she’s never tie-dyed before! Maddie, Emily, Bella, and Sam have lots of fun turning clothing bright, groovy colors. But then something not so bright and groovy happens. The kids accidentally tie-dye a shirt Maddie’s mother made for the mayor of the town! They try all sorts of things to fix their mistake, but nothing works. What is the foursome going to do about their tie-dye disaster? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Craftily Ever After chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

  3. Breaking the Piggy Bank - Bella, Emily, Maddie, and Sam decide to create their very own start-up—a lemonade stand!—in this fifth book of the Craftily Ever After chapter book series. Emily Adams, Maddie Wilson, Bella Diaz, and Sam Sharma are eight-year-olds with one special thing in common: they love to create. They each have unique talents, too! Emily is great at constructing and building; Maddie has an eye for fashion, fabrics, and sewing; Bella is a gadget whiz; and Sam is a gifted artist. Together, these four crafty friends dream up new projects to design, build, and create and through their experiences, they’ll learn how to handle various obstacles at school and in their everyday eight-year-old lives. Bella, Emily, Maddie, and Sam have been hard at work in their craft studio—so busy in fact, that their supplies are starting to dwindle. It’s time to stock up! In order to add a little money to their piggy bank, the friends decide to combine their skills and use the last of their allowance to create their very own business: a lemonade stand! But something’s not quite right. While the stand looks fabulous, the lemonade is…not. Can these crafty entrepreneurs save their business before it’s too late? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Craftily Ever After chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

  4. Christmas Is Coming! An Advent Book - Lift the flaps every day of December to discover a delightful new Christmas tradition with this unique advent book! Each flap on the cover of the book reveals a clue to a festive activity that can be found inside the pages. It might be a recipe for a delicious homemade treat, instructions for a cozy craft, a game to play, a carol to sing, or a beautifully illustrated story to read with the whole family. This inviting twist on the traditional advent calendar is perfect for families who love to put their own spin on celebrating the holidays, offering fun-filled activities that can be fondly shared together year after year.

Books About Creativity and Imagination And Play

Add to list
What If...
Written by Samantha Berger & illustrated by Mike Curato
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
Creativity, the power of imagination, and the importance of self-expression are celebrated in this inspiring picture book written and illustrated by real-life best friends. This girl is determined to express herself! If she can't draw her dreams, she'll sculpt or build, carve or collage. If she can't do that, she'll turn her world into a canvas. And if everything around her is taken away, she'll sing, dance, and dream... Stunning mixed media illustrations, lyrical text, and a breathtaking gatefold conjure powerful magic in this heartfelt affirmation of art, imagination, and the resilience of the human spirit.
Add to list
I Have an Idea!
Written & illustrated by Herve Tullet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10
From one of the true creative geniuses of this generation comes a unique meditation on and celebration of the magic of the birth of a simple idea. Sparkling with visual wit and bubbling with imagination, this is a richly emotional exploration of the creative process: from an initial tentative inkling, to the frustration of chasing the wrong notion, to finally the exhilaration of capturing—and nurturing—just the right idea. I Have an Idea! is a scrumptious cloth-spined package of color and inspiration equally at home on a child's bookshelf, in a new graduate's backpack, or atop a creative's desk.
Add to list
Yasmin the Fashionista
Written by Saadia Faruqi & illustrated by Hatem Aly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6
While her parents are out to dinner, a bored Yasmin decides to try on some of her mother's clothes, including her new shalwar kameez, which gets ripped--but with the help of Nana, Nani, and a glue-gun, the garment gets fixed, and Yasmin puts on an impromptu fashion show when her parents get home.
Honorable Mentions
Lost for Words book
Add to list
What to Do with a String book
Add to list
Anywhere Artist book
Add to list
  1. Lost for Words - Tapir wants to express himself, but he can’t find the words! Tapir and his friends all have nice new notebooks, just waiting to be filled. Giraffe decides to write a poem, Hippo writes a story, and Flamingo composes a beautiful song. But poor Tapir can’t think of anything to write ―and the harder he tries the more upset he becomes! But everything starts to change when Tapir stops trying to write and begins to draw. This gentle story from author and illustrator Natalie Russell will inspire even the littlest artists to find their creative spark.

  2. What to Do with a String - Snag the spirit of adventure and lasso the limitless horizons of imagination to discover all the simple yet fantastical things one can make out of a string-from slingshots to sails, swings to phone lines-in this sequel to Jane Yolen’s popular picture book, What to Do with a Box (2016).

  3. Anywhere Artist - Anyone can make art anywhere, anytime, with anything! Follow a young artist as she moves through a number of natural environments, creating gorgeous artworks along the way from natural materials. Stunning hand-crafted illustrations with handlettered text. An ideal springboard for your own creations!

Books About Creativity and Girls And Women

Add to list
Knit Together
Written & illustrated by Angela Dominguez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
New from an award-winning illustrator comes a sweet story of mothers and daughters, drawing and knitting, and learning to embrace your talents—just right for Mother's Day. Drawing is fun, but knitting is better—because you can wear it! Knitting isn’t easy, though, and can be a little frustrating. Maybe the best thing to do is combine talents. A trip to the beach offers plenty of inspiration. Soon mom and daughter are collaborating on a piece of art they can share together: a special drawing made into a knitted beach blanket. For every mom and daughter, this is an arts-and-crafts ode creative passion and working together.
Add to list
Saving the Countryside: The Story of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit
Written by Linda Marshall & illustrated by Ilaria Urbinati and Linda Marshall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
"An exceptionally accurate portrait of Beatrix Potter told with humor and surprise. Beautifully done." Linda Lear, author of Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature Through she's universally known as the creator of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter did so much more. This is the true story about how she helped save the English countryside! Growing up in London, Beatrix Potter felt the restraints of Victorian times. Girls didn't go to school and weren't expected to work. But she longed to do something important, something that truly mattered. As Beatrix spent her summers in the country and found inspiration in nature, it was through this passion that her creativity flourished. There, she crafted The Tale of Peter Rabbit. She would eventually move to the countryside full-time, but developers sought to change the land. To save it, Beatrix used the money from the success of her books and bought acres and acres of land and farms to prevent the development of the countryside that both she and Peter Rabbit so cherished. Because of her efforts, it's been preserved just as she left it. This beautiful picture book shines a light on Beatrix Potter's lesser-known history and her desire to do something for the greater good.
Add to list
Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves
Written by Kate T Parker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Girls being fearless. Girls being silly. Girls being wild, stubborn, and proud. Girls whose faces are smeared with dirt and lit up with joy. So simple and yet so powerful, Strong Is the New Pretty celebrates, through more than 175 memorable photographs, the strength and spirit of girls being 100% themselves. Real beauty isn’t about being a certain size, acting a certain way, wearing the right clothes, or having your hair done (or even brushed). Real beauty is about being your authentic self and owning it. Kate T. Parker is a professional photographer who finds the real beauty in girls, capturing it for all the world to see in candid and arresting images. A celebration, a catalog of spirit in words and smiles, an affirmation of the fact that it’s what’s inside you that counts, Strong Is the New Pretty conveys a powerful message for every girl, for every mother and father of a girl, for every coach and mentor and teacher, for everyone in the village that it takes to raise a strong and self-confident person.
Honorable Mentions
All Our Wild Wonder book
Add to list
Cloud Country book
Add to list
  1. All Our Wild Wonder - All Our Wild Wonder is a vibrant tribute to extraordinary educators and a celebration of learning. The perfect gift for the mentors in our lives, this charming, illustrated poem reminds us of the beauty in, and importance of, cultivating curiosity, creativity, and confidence in others.

  2. Cloud Country - Sitting there, among the clouds, looking down and day dreaming is… a little cloudlet. Gale would like nothing more than to make one real cloud shape. But instead, she creates something different. Wait until all of Cloud Country finds out!

Books About Creativity and Art

Add to list
The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Every child has an artist inside them, and this vibrant picture book from Eric Carle will help let it out. The artist in this book paints the world as he sees it, just like a child. There’s a red crocodile, an orange elephant, a purple fox and a polka-dotted donkey. More than anything, there’s imagination. Filled with some of the most magnificently colorful animals of Eric Carle’s career, this tribute to the creative life celebrates the power of art.
Add to list
Mightier Than the Sword
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Wildly funny and inventive, this interactive book pulls you, the reader, into the action. Yes, YOU! You wake up in the fictional land of Astorya, where stories from our world come to life. You’re a real human being (we assume), and in this fictional world, that makes you a superhero. Armed with your trusty pencil you have the power to create: what you write, draw, or scribble in the book becomes part of the story! Only you can rescue Prince S. from the evil Queen Rulette. Aided by the Couriers–a French stoat with dangerous dance moves, a giant dung beetle, a fire ninja, a Pegasus-centaur-cowgirl and a super-intelligent femalien chameleon–you must write, draw, and puzzle your way through a hilarious adventure that is unique to every reader! And most importantly, you must prove that the pencil is mightier than the sword.
Add to list
Yasmin the Builder
Written by Saadia Faruqi & illustrated by Hatem Aly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6
As their makerspace project the students in Yasmin's second grade class are building a city: there are houses, a school, a church, even a castle, but Yasmin is not sure what to build--until inspiration strikes.
Honorable Mentions
With My Hands: Poems About Making Things book
Add to list
Yasmin the Painter book
Add to list
Warrior Genius book
Add to list
I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson's Blackboard book
Add to list
  1. With My Hands: Poems About Making Things - Building, baking, folding, drawing, shaping . . . making something with your own hands is a special, personal experience. Taking an idea from your imagination and turning it into something real is satisfying and makes the maker proud. With My Hands is an inspiring invitation to tap into creativity and enjoy the hands-on energy that comes from making things.

  2. Yasmin the Painter - Unsure about her artistic skills, second-grader Yasmin is not looking forward to the art competition at school—but with the support and encouragement of her family she produces a prize-winning painting.

  3. Warrior Genius - In Book 2 of this breathtakingly action-packed series, warriors clash in an ultimate face-off between enemy empires, but both sides share an equal enemy—Giacomo. Giacomo, his fellow artists, and their wise old teacher are on the run after a showdown with Nerezza, the emperor of Zizzola, who has vowed to hunt them down and destroy them and their precious Geniuses. In a desperate attempt to escape, they transport themselves to Rachana, a South Asian-inspired world where it’s the most powerful warriors, not artists, who possess Geniuses. The power-hungry Rachanan leader is more than happy to have Giacomo and his team—he’s eager to find the next Sacred Tool, the Straightedge, and believes it’s hidden somewhere in his empire. Meanwhile, Nerezza has devised a plan to control Giacomo and bend him to her will. But first she’ll have to start an all-out war to get to him.

  4. I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson's Blackboard - Rose’s teacher gives stars for spelling and neatness and giving the right answer, but Rose can’t manage to do any of those things right. Will she ever get a star from Mrs. Benson? Rose is a distracted and creative soul. She does her best at school, but sometimes her mind wanders, and she answers the wrong question. Her reading voice is quiet, not strong and loud. And her desk?—?well, keeping her desk neat is a challenge. When it’s time to make thank-you cards for a class visitor, Rose’s art supplies turn her workspace?—and her?—?into a colorful mess. But her artistic skills shine through in the gorgeous oversize card she creates. Could she possibly get a star after all? A cheerful and empowering picture book for the child whose talents lie in unconventional areas, and those still searching for their strengths.

Want to see 7 more books about creativity and art ?

How about books about art?

Epilogue

11 books that are just too good to leave off of our creativity list.
The Paper Bag Princess book
Add to list
Beautiful Oops! book
Add to list
Russell the Sheep book
Add to list
The Whale in My Swimming Pool  book
Add to list
  1. The Paper Bag Princess - Over five million copies in print! When the fiercest dragon in the whole world smashes Princess Elizabeth’s castle, burns all her clothes, and captures her fiancé, Prince Ronald, Elizabeth takes matters into her own hands. With her wits alone and nothing but a paper bag to wear, the princess challenges the dragon to show his strength in the hopes of saving the prince. But is it worth all that trouble? Readers the world-over have fallen in love with this classic story of girl power. Now a newly designed Classic Munsch edition will introduce the tale to a new generation of young feminists.

  2. Beautiful Oops! - The Book Snob Mom -

    Near the very top of my list of things I want my children to learn is to not be afraid of mistakes or failure—they're simply part of the process. The interactive way multi-media mistakes are transformed in this book into quirky artwork is endearing and keeps the mood light and my little reader busy while I read the slightly more serious message present in the text. My toddler wants this "again" and "again", and thus far it's been sturdy enough to withstand toddler exploration, which is a plus!

  3. Russell the Sheep - This is Russell. Sometimes Russell is just a little bit out of step with the rest of the flock. All the sheep are falling asleep — except Russell. What’s a sheep to do? Russell tries everything … until, at last, he falls asleep.

  4. The Whale in My Swimming Pool - The Book Snob Mom -

    I'm a huge fan of Joyce Wan's signature illustration style (as a side note, did you know she can even make worms look cute?! I digress). This cute book combines a preposterous situation with one little boy's innovation and problem-solving to create happy humor and good feels all around.

The Templeton Twins Have An Idea book
Add to list
What Do You Do with a Problem? book
Add to list
The Book of Mistakes book
Add to list
Appleblossom the Possum book
Add to list
  1. The Templeton Twins Have An Idea - B is for Bookworm -

    I love how witty the Templeton twins are! This book reminds me a little bit of a Lemony Snicket tale, which I thought brought in some great humor. The twins have a great, smart, inventive father and they are kidnapped and held as ransom, as the perpetrators want their father's invention as payment. What the perpetrators don't realize is that the twins have learned a lot from their father--using the lessons and smarts they got from him, the twins save the day! I thought this book was adventurous, imaginative, fun, and clever.

  2. What Do You Do with a Problem? - What do you do with a problem? Especially one that follows you around and doesn’t seem to be going away? Do you worry about it? Ignore it? Do you run and hide from it? This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn’t so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than it appeared. This is a story for anyone, at any age, who has ever had a problem that they wished would go away. It’s a story to inspire you to look closely at that problem and to find out why it’s here. Because you might discover something amazing about your problem and yourself. What are problems for? They challenge us, shape us, push us, and help us to discover just how strong and brave and capable we really are. Even though we don’t always want them, problems have a way of bringing unexpected gifts. So, what will you do with your problem?

  3. The Book of Mistakes - Zoom meets Beautiful Oops! in this memorable picture book debut about the creative process, and the way in which “mistakes” can blossom into inspiration One eye was bigger than the other. That was a mistake. The weird frog-cat-cow thing? It made an excellent bush. And the inky smudges… they look as if they were always meant to be leaves floating gently across the sky. As one artist incorporates accidental splotches, spots, and misshapen things into her art, she transforms her piece in quirky and unexpected ways, taking readers on a journey through her process. Told in minimal, playful text, this story shows readers that even the biggest “mistakes” can be the source of the brightest ideas—and that, at the end of the day, we are all works in progress, too. Fans of Peter Reynolds’s Ish and Patrick McDonnell’s A Perfectly Messed-Up Story will love the funny, poignant, completely unique storytelling of The Book of Mistakes. And, like Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, it makes the perfect graduation gift, encouraging readers to have a positive outlook as they learn to face life’s obstacles.

  4. Appleblossom the Possum - Mama has trained up her baby possums in the ways of their breed, and now it’s time for all of them—even little Appleblossom—to make their way in the world. Appleblossom knows the rules: she must never be seen during the day, and she must avoid cars, humans, and the dreaded hairies (sometimes known as dogs). Even so, Appleblossom decides to spy on a human family—and accidentally falls down their chimney! The curious Appleblossom, her faithful brothers—who launch a hilarious rescue mission—and even the little girl in the house have no idea how fascinating the big world can be. But they’re about to find out! With dynamic illustrations, a tight-knit family, and a glimpse at the world from a charming little marsupial’s point of view, this cozy animal story is a perfect read-aloud and a classic in the making.

Dog Loves Drawing book
Add to list
Black Dog book
Add to list
Journey book
Add to list
  1. Dog Loves Drawing - Dog loves books, but one day he receives a strange one in the mail—it’s blank! Soon, Dog realizes that this book is not for reading, but for drawing. Before long, Dog is doodling and drawing himself into a new world, full of friends and surprises.

  2. Black Dog - In a modern fairy tale about the power of fear and how it distorts our view of the world, the Black Dog that appears outside the Hope family’s home seems to grow larger and larger as each frightened member of the Hope family sees it, but the youngest member of the household is not afraid and is able to break the spell.

  3. Journey - The Book Snob Mom -

    This is a beautiful wordless picture book following a young girl through her imagination to a world where things don't always work out as she expects. She has to think fast, but with a little creative problem solving and a lot of imagination she's able to discover just what she was looking for—a friend. A fresh take on a journey with elements vaguely reminiscent of Where the Wild Things Are and Harold and the Purple Crayon!

Did you enjoy our creativity book recommendations? Did you know you can help us improve this list? Check out our Community Handbook and learn how to add tags to books.

Additional book lists you might enjoy:

Suggested Links