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Imagination: Books For Kids

To quote Albert Einstein, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” The older I become, the more I value imagination. Researchers have long discovered that imagination affects children's cognitive development, leading to better problem solving skills and creativity. Plus, it's so much fun! Here are our favorite kids books that will spark and foster imagination!

Top 10 Books About Imagination

Where the Wild Things Are book
#1
Where the Wild Things Are
Written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In the forty years since Max first cried "Let the wild rumpus start," Maurice Sendak's classic picture book has become one of the most highly acclaimed and best-loved children's books of all time. Now, in celebration of this special anniversary, introduce a new generation to Max's imaginative journey to where the wild things are.

Harold and the Purple Crayon book
#2
Harold and the Purple Crayon
Written and illustrated by Crockett Johnson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book is a wonderful example of imagination and the joy it brings! Harold can do anything he imagines. I love the simplicity of this book--all it takes is a purple crayon.

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.

When Charlie McButton Lost Power book
#3
When Charlie McButton Lost Power
Written by Suzanne Collins and illustrated by Mike Lester
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

A wonderful book about unplugging and using your imagination and spending time with those you love! :) I didn't love the illustrations at first, but they've really grown on my and I think they, and the rest of this book, are so fun! I especially think all of the wording and rhyme is fantastic.

Charlie McButton likes computer games so much, he never plays with anything else. When a thunderstorm knocks out the electricity, his tech empire comes tumbling down, and his whole world loses power. Charlie needs batteries?FAST! But the only triple- A?s he can find are in his little sister?s talking doll. Will he resort to desperate measures and cause his sister to have a meltdown of her own? Or will he snap out of his computer craze long enough to realize his sister might be fun, even if she doesn?t come with batteries? Collins and Lester team up for a hilarious and timely tale that will crack up young computer addicts and those who love them!

Max's Castle book
#4
Max's Castle
Written by Kate Banks and illustrated by Boris Kulikov
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers

Max's Castle is a really clever book and sure to fascinate any early reader. The book brilliantly explores words by mixing around or swapping the letters in one word to create an amalgamation of similar words and anagrams. Early readers are sure to enjoy, for example, that by simply adding an "l" block to the word "adder," Max and his three brothers smartly create a ladder to escape from the dangerous adder in the dungeon of the castle. Kate Banks and Boris Kulikov have some fun with the illustrations and anagrams surprising us with threatening pirates in one page before turning "pirates" into harmless "rat pies" in the next page. This book is sure to delight readers with its wit and imaginative exploration of letters.

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.

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles book
#5
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

If I could, I'd rate this book higher! This has been my favorite chapter book for the past year, and is the perfect book to ignite and strengthen a reader's imagination, all while going on an incredible, courageous journey.

The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the world. Then he disappeared and created a wonderful land for himself and all the other remarkable animals -- the ten-legged Sidewinders, the little furry Flukes, the friendly Whiffle Bird, and the treacherous, "oily" Prock. It was an almost perfect place where the last of the really great Whangdoodles could rule his kingdom with "peace, love and a sense of fun"-- apart from and forgotten by people. But not completely forgotten. Professor Savant believed in the Whangdoodle. And when he told the three Potter children of his search for the spectacular creature, Lindy, Tom, and Ben were eager to reach Whangdoodleland. With the Professor's help, they discovered the secret way. But waiting for them was the scheming Prock, who would use almost any means to keep them away from his beloved king. Only by skill and determination were the four travelers able to discover the last of the really great Whangdoodles and grant him his heart's desire. Julie Andrews Edwards, star of stage and screen, has written a unique and beloved story that has become a modern classic. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles is sure to continue to delight readers everywhere. This edition includes a new foreword by the author.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book
#6
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the author of The BFG and Matilda! Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

The Magical Life of Mr. Renny book
#7
The Magical Life of Mr. Renny
Written and illustrated by Leo Timmers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When he is unable to sell his paintings and has no money for food, Mr. Renny meets a man who is able to make his paintings come to life.

Dog Loves Drawing book
#8
Dog Loves Drawing
Written and illustrated by Louise Yates
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Such a cute book about imagination and the fun adventures it will take you. :) I love that this book starts with the dog unsure of what to think up next, and that it gives the idea to doodle to gain some inspiration. :)

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.

I Spy with My Little Eye book
#9
I Spy with My Little Eye
Written and illustrated by Paula Vasquez
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Mouse and Little Bear take readers on a journey with each page. Start with a color, point out a shape, and then use your imagination. Is that blue square an open window? Brrr! It’s chilly outside. And is that a red triangle? No, it is a scary volcano. Perfect for bedtime or playtime, this fun and unique primer puts a new spin on a classic game, teaching colors, shapes, and creative play.

The Best Birthday Present Ever book
#10
The Best Birthday Present Ever
Written and illustrated by Ben Mantle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I still remember the anxiety I felt as a child of having the birthday gift I brought to a party unwrapped and wondering what their reaction would be, so as Squirrel watches Bear unwrap fancier and fancier presents and questions the carefully chosen stick he'd brought, I felt with him, but Bear's reaction is utterly perfect and priceless and teaches a great lesson about imagination, graciousness and the power of friendship. The illustrations are adorable too!

Squirrel is super excited: he’s been invited to Big Bear’s birthday party! Now he just has to find the perfect present for his friend—but what can you give a bear who already has EVERYTHING? Squirrel searches and searches and chooses . . . a stick! As Bear unwraps his stack of gifts Squirrel begins to worry: is it enough? But with a little imagination, and a good friend, even the simplest stick can become magical. This funny, heartwarming story of friendship is a great gift—and not just for bears!

Books About Imagination and Siblings

When Charlie McButton Lost Power book
#1
When Charlie McButton Lost Power
Written by Suzanne Collins and illustrated by Mike Lester
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

A wonderful book about unplugging and using your imagination and spending time with those you love! :) I didn't love the illustrations at first, but they've really grown on my and I think they, and the rest of this book, are so fun! I especially think all of the wording and rhyme is fantastic.

Charlie McButton likes computer games so much, he never plays with anything else. When a thunderstorm knocks out the electricity, his tech empire comes tumbling down, and his whole world loses power. Charlie needs batteries?FAST! But the only triple- A?s he can find are in his little sister?s talking doll. Will he resort to desperate measures and cause his sister to have a meltdown of her own? Or will he snap out of his computer craze long enough to realize his sister might be fun, even if she doesn?t come with batteries? Collins and Lester team up for a hilarious and timely tale that will crack up young computer addicts and those who love them!

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles book
#2
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

If I could, I'd rate this book higher! This has been my favorite chapter book for the past year, and is the perfect book to ignite and strengthen a reader's imagination, all while going on an incredible, courageous journey.

The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the world. Then he disappeared and created a wonderful land for himself and all the other remarkable animals -- the ten-legged Sidewinders, the little furry Flukes, the friendly Whiffle Bird, and the treacherous, "oily" Prock. It was an almost perfect place where the last of the really great Whangdoodles could rule his kingdom with "peace, love and a sense of fun"-- apart from and forgotten by people. But not completely forgotten. Professor Savant believed in the Whangdoodle. And when he told the three Potter children of his search for the spectacular creature, Lindy, Tom, and Ben were eager to reach Whangdoodleland. With the Professor's help, they discovered the secret way. But waiting for them was the scheming Prock, who would use almost any means to keep them away from his beloved king. Only by skill and determination were the four travelers able to discover the last of the really great Whangdoodles and grant him his heart's desire. Julie Andrews Edwards, star of stage and screen, has written a unique and beloved story that has become a modern classic. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles is sure to continue to delight readers everywhere. This edition includes a new foreword by the author.

Maggie and Wendel: Imagine Everything! book
#3
Maggie and Wendel: Imagine Everything!
Written and illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Illustrations and easy-to-read text portray a young brother and sister as they spend an afternoon imagining great adventures together.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - This hardcover edition, featuring the original jacket art and black-and-white illustrations by Pauline Baynes, allows readers to celebrate the book that started it all. In 1950, C. S. Lewis introduced the world to Narnia and its unforgettable characters. Over sixty years later, readers of all ages are still enchanted by the magical series. Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second book in C. S. Lewis's classic fantasy series, which has been captivating readers of all ages for over sixty years. This is a stand-alone read, but if you would like to journey back to Narnia, pick up The Horse and His Boy, the third book in The Chronicles of Narnia.

  2. I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato - Lola is a fussy eater. A very fussy eater. She won’t eat her carrots (until her brother Charlie reveals that they’re orange twiglets from Jupiter). She won’t eat her mashed potatoes (until Charlie explains that they’re cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji). There are many things Lola won’t eat, including - and especially - tomatoes. Or will she? Two endearing siblings star in a witty story about the triumph of imagination over proclivity.

  3. Ruby's Sword - Ruby is always racing after her big brothers. But no matter how hard she tries, she can never catch up. Then one day, she discovers some sticks in the grass. Not just any sticks—swords! And suddenly the world is her kingdom. Readers will cheer on Ruby's perseverance and creativity as they delight in the antics of the adorable animals that join her along the way. Anyone who has ever imagined themselves the star of their own swashbuckling adventure will find this sweet book irresistible.

  4. Mabel and Sam at Home - At the new house, there were movers and shouting and boxes and blankets. There were many places a girl like Mabel and a boy like Sam could be tripped over or smooshed or trod upon. There was one safe place where they would not. And that is how Mabel became a Sea Captain. In this three-part picture book of moving house and imaginative play, Mabel and Sam sail the high seas of their new home; tour the intriguing museum of their living room; journey through outer space to the safety of their own beds; and discover how far afield—and how close to home—imagination can take them.

Want to see more children's books about siblings?

Books About Imagination and Art

Harold and the Purple Crayon book
#1
Harold and the Purple Crayon
Written and illustrated by Crockett Johnson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book is a wonderful example of imagination and the joy it brings! Harold can do anything he imagines. I love the simplicity of this book--all it takes is a purple crayon.

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.

The Magical Life of Mr. Renny book
#2
The Magical Life of Mr. Renny
Written and illustrated by Leo Timmers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When he is unable to sell his paintings and has no money for food, Mr. Renny meets a man who is able to make his paintings come to life.

Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear book
#3
Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear
Written and illustrated by Monica Carnesi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Beatrice & Bear meet one spring day and become best buddies. They play together through summer and fall. Then winter comes and Beatrice can't find Bear anywhere. She hears he's gone to hibernate -- but where on earth is that? When Beatrice learns that hibernation is not a place and that Bear will be sleeping all winter long, she fears it will be a lonely season...unless she can come up with a brilliant plan. This delightful story of an irrepressible bunny will engage readers on many levels as it celebrates creativity, making the best of circumstances, and the joy of the changing seasons.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse - 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.

  2. Draw! - Based on his own childhood, beloved and award-winning artist Raúl Colón’s wordless book is about the limitless nature of creativity and imagination. A boy alone in his room. Pencils. Sketchbook in hand. What would it be like to go on safari? Imagine. Draw… A boy named Leonardo begins to imagine and then to draw a world afar—first a rhinoceros, and then he meets some monkeys, and he always has a friendly elephant at his side. Soon he finds himself in the jungle and carried away by the sheer power of his imagination, seeing the world through his own eyes and making friends along the way.

  3. Sam & Eva - Sam does not want Eva to add to his drawing, but when the scene comes to life and gets out of control, she helps him escape.

  4. I Have an Idea! - 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.

Want to see more children's books about art?

Books About Imagination and Being Yourself

Lily Wool book
#1
Lily Wool
Written and illustrated by Paula Vasquez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

The story of one little sheep with a big imagination is delightfully told and the illustrations are lovely and whimsical. While Lily Wool is a little reckless in her exploration (resulting in some consequences for others), I love that once she becomes aware of this she uses her imagination again to solve the problem she created, leading her to find her passion as a creator and entrepreneur. We don't have to be perfect, just try our best!

A little lamb with a great big imagination. A new picture book from Paula Vasquez filled with delightful illustrations depicting a little lamb intent on being true to herself. Lily Wool gets bored with all of the grazing and resting that the herd does and prefers to count stars and dream of adventures. When Lily finds a strand of loose wool, she lets her imagination run wild and has a grand time until she accidentally unravels a problem. Children will love seeing how Lily Wool puts her imagination and creativity to work to fix things, and how Lily discovers a way to help others while she finds her special place in the herd. Paula Vasquez,an avowed artist from childhood, studied graphic design at the Universidad Cat�lica de Chile, and honed her illustration skills with a post-graduate diploma from Finis Terrae University. She currently lives in Santiago de Chile writing and illustrating children's picture books.

Dory Fantasmagory book
#2
Dory Fantasmagory
Written and illustrated by Abby Hanlon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Dory, the youngest in her family, is a girl with a very active imagination, and she spends the summer playing with her imaginary friend, pretending to be a dog, battling monsters, and generally driving her family nuts.

Willow book
#3
Willow
Written by Rosemarie Brennan, Denise Brennan-Nelson and illustrated by Cyd Moore
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In Miss Hawthorn's art class, neatness, conformity, and imitation are encouraged, but when Willow brings imagination and creativity to her projects, even straight-laced Miss Hawthorn is influenced.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Ta-Da! - What makes a good story? One little girl thinks it's a princess with magical powers that can—ta-da!—overcome any obstacle. Her friend thinks it's—dun dun duh!—a combination of dragons, pirates, and fire that cause total chaos. But as their stories intertwine, these two young storytellers soon learn that a good story needs both conflict—dun dun duh!—and resolution—ta-da! An irresistible celebration of imaginary play, storytelling, and the joys of collaboration, this gorgeous picture book features two strong voices throughout, making it the perfect read-aloud.

  2. Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems - Hear thunder crash, feel your toes touch sand, and watch leaves drift softly away on a quiet stream. The simple poems in Breathe and Be help children learn mindfulness as they connect to the beauty of the natural world. Mindfulness teaches us how to stay calm, soothe our emotions, and appreciate the world around us. Whether we’re watching tiny colored fish darting in the water or exploring the leaves, branches, and roots of a towering tree, the thoughtful words and the lovely art of Breathe and Be remind us how much joy we can find by simply living with awareness and inner peace.

  3. Marcel the Shell with Shoes on - View our feature on Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp’s Marcel the Shell With Shoes On. Millions of people have fallen in love with Marcel. Now the tiny shell with shoes and a big heart is transitioning from online sensation to classic picture book character, and readers can learn more about this adorable creature and his wonderfully peculiar world. From wearing a lentil as a hat to hang-gliding on a Dorito, Marcel is able to find magic in the everyday. He may be small, but he knows he has a lot of good qualities. He may not be able to lift anything by himself, but when he needs help, he calls upon his family. He may never be able own a real dog . . . but he has a pretty awesome imagination.

  4. Delivery Bear - Zogby wants to work for Fluffy Tail Cookies as a delivery animal—but he’s a bear and all the other animals are cute bunnies. Zogby tries to pretend to be a bunny by wearing bunny ears, putting on whiskers, and adding a fluffy tail. But he still scares the customers! When Zogby realizes being himself is best, can he find a way to stand out and get the job?

Want to see more children's books about being yourself?

Books About Imagination and Bravery

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book
#1
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the author of The BFG and Matilda! Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

Circus Girl book
#2
Circus Girl
Written and illustrated by Clare Pernice
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When a little girl dons her leotard and socks, she becomes "Circus Girl," the star of a show that incorporates her toys and stuffed animals.

The Red Boat book
#3
The Red Boat
Written and illustrated by Hannah Cumming
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Posy is afraid of her new house and all the unknown that comes with it, but when she and her dog find a red boat in the garden, she imagines all kinds of adventures and gains confidence despite being the new kid.

Honorable Mentions
  1. My Name Is Not Alexander - Just How Big Can a Little kid Dream? Who is your hero? Alexander takes a rip-roaring historical adventure! Through his imaginative journey, Alexander discovers how great men become heroes: the roughest rider can be surprisingly gentle, a strong leader is also the most peaceful, and sometimes, being brave about what makes you different will not only help you break records, but inspire others. Join Alexander as he learns how these remarkable men changed the world and encouraged him to find the hero within himself!

  2. Adelaide's Secret World - With a poetic story and lush paintings, Elise Hurst conveys how a bit of bravery, empathy, and imagination can transform our lives. Adelaide lives in a city filled with people and wonders, but she is lonely. She is a watcher, and she sees others like her: the quiet ones, those who dance and dream alone. In a chance encounter, Adelaide meets someone who just might be a kindred spirit—and is so startled and shy she runs away! But then she gathers her courage and uses all her ingenuity to make sure that they—and all the other lonely ones—meet and connect and share their dreams.

  3. More than a Princess - Aislin of Eliasind is more than just a princess -- she's half-fairy and half-pedrasi, with magical gifts from each side of her heritage! One day, as Aislin is venturing through the woods, she is alarmed to hear a band of humans coming through. How did they get past the guarded magical passageway that leads to her hidden kingdom? Mistaken for a human herself, Aislin is captured, and soon realizes she's in even bigger trouble--she's being used as a pawn to help the king of this nearby kingdom, Morrain, find a secret passageway to the warring land of Scarmander, so he can capture his enemies by surprise. Aislin must find a way to break free, while also minding the beautiful human princess and ladies-in-waiting she now shares a castle with, who are all too ready to point out her differences. Thankfully, Aislin's inner strength goes beyond her magical qualities. And with a few loyal friends by her side, she's ready to stand up for herself and her kingdom once and for all. A classic and original fairy-tale that celebrates beauty and goodness in all its shapes and sizes, More than a Princess will resonate with readers who love magic, suspense, girl power, and adventure.

  4. Tashi - "Well, it was like this. Come and I'll tell you about the time I tricked the last dragon of all." So says the daring hero, Tashi, in his first book of adventures. Tashi comes from a place very far away. He escaped from a war lord and flew to this country on a swan. He's as brave as he's clever, and he tells the best stories. Tashi books are ideal for young readers, or for reading aloud, and they're loved all over the world.

Want to see more children's books about bravery?

Books About Imagination and Magic

Two of Everything book
#1
Two of Everything
Written and illustrated by Lily Toy Hong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When old Mr. Haktak digs up a curious brass pot in his garden, he has no idea what use it can be. On his way home, Mr. Haktak decides to carry his coin purse in the mysterious pot. But when Mrs. Haktak’s hairpin accidentally slips into the pot and she reaches in to retrieve it, the magic of the pot is revealed. Not only are there two hairpins inside, but there are also two purses!

Day Dreamers book
#2
Day Dreamers
Written and illustrated by Emily Winfield Martin
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Emily Winfield Martin shows little ones that letting their imaginations run free will lead them into fantastical day dreams. Whether cloud-gazing or wandering through a museum, reading a book or playing in a tide pool, the children in this board book encounter magical creatures such as dragons, unicorns, griffins, and jackalopes.

Today I'll Be a Unicorn book
#3
Today I'll Be a Unicorn
Written and illustrated by Dana Simpson
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Who wouldn't want to be a unicorn? This super-sparkly board book celebrates the unique, magical, and enchanting world of being a unicorn.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Plum - From Will & Grace star Sean Hayes and composer Scott Icenogle comes a modern classic inspired by The Nutcracker about how the Sugar Plum Fairy got her wings. Plum will not stay glum. For as long as she can remember, Plum has lived at the Mary Fitzgerald Orphanage, wishing and hoping for a family. When a sudden snowfall threatens a delivery of presents on Christmas Eve, Plum is determined to save Christmas—even for the kids who laugh at her. Plum’s pure heart grants her an unexpected reward. When she eats a cake left behind by a mysterious magician, she is transported into the Land of Sweets. But Christmas here is threatened, too—by a sourness that is spreading from the center of the land. Plum’s determined to help, and in doing so, she might just find the family she’s always dreamed of, thanks to a good heart—and Christmas magic!

  2. Julian Is a Mermaid - In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world. While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he's seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes -- and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love's author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality.

  3. Uni the Unicorn and the Dream Come True - Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Brigette Barrager reunite to bring us a sparkly, magical sequel to Uni the Unicorn! The Land of Unicorns is in trouble -- it has been raining and raining for what seems like forever. This is a big problem because there are only three ways that unicorns can get their magic: from the golden sun, from magnificent rainbows, and from the sparkle of believing. Luckily, Uni the Unicorn has always always always believed...that little girls are REAL. Join this very special unicorn and the little girl who believes right back as they finally meet and work together to save a magical land and all who live there! Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Brigette Barrager reunite to revive this world glowing with possibility and hope that is the stuff of childhood fantasies.

  4. Unicorns Are Real! - This Mythical Creatures Are Real board book offers babies and toddlers a glimpse into the colorful, whimsical world of unicorns. Discover what makes them so magical! Stardust and glitter and rainbows, oh my! Did you know that unicorns polish their horns with fairy dust and moonbeams, and that they love looking at their reflections? Unicorn lovers will be tickled to learn all sorts of "facts" about these beloved mythical creatures in Holly Hatam's (#1 New York Times bestselling illustrator) unique Mythical Creatures Are Real board book. Look for Dragons are Real, too!

Want to see 18 more children's books about imagination and magic?

How about children's books about magic?

Books About Imagination and Friendship

We Forgot Brock! book
#1
We Forgot Brock!
Written and illustrated by Carter Goodrich
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Phillip and Brock are best friends, although everyone else thinks Brock is imaginary, so when Phillip gets tired out at the Big Fair while Brock is still having fun, they are separated and it will take a very special twosome to bring them back together again.

Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse book
#2
Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse
Written by Marcy Campbell and illustrated by Corinna Luyken
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This book is just beautiful: the story itself, the message, and of course the illustrations! The way that Adrian Simcox's white horse with the golden mane emerges from the white space, again and again, is amazing and truly captures the power and reality of imagination. Reminiscent of the oft-posed question of which is better—a lie that brings a smile or a truth that brings a tear—this story lands soundly on the side of the beauty of imagination and our power to create our own world.

A classic in the making, this heartwarming story about empathy and imagination is one that families will treasure for years to come. Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse--the best and most beautiful horse anywhere. But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse? The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even complains about him to her mom, Chloe doesn't get the vindication she craves. She gets something far more important. Written with tenderness and poignancy and gorgeously illustrated, this book will show readers that kindness is always rewarding, understanding is sweeter than judgment, and friendship is the best gift one can give.

Heart and the Bottle book
#3
Heart and the Bottle
Written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

There is a wonder and magic to childhood. We don’t realize it at the time, of course . . . yet the adults in our lives do. They encourage us to see things in the stars, to find joy in colors and laughter as we play. But what happens when that special someone who encourages such wonder and magic is no longer around? We can hide, we can place our heart in a bottle and grow up . . . or we can find another special someone who understands the magic. And we can encourage them to see things in the stars, find joy among colors and laughter as they play. Oliver Jeffers delivers a remarkable book, a tale of poignancy and resonance reminiscent of The Giving Tree that will speak to the hearts of children and parents alike.

Honorable Mentions
  1. All about Cats - A hilarious look at what cats get up to when humans aren't around. Contrasting personality traits are put side by side to show how cats - like people - are diverse. The book celebrates positive relationships and the power of the imagination.

  2. Sophie's Squash - "Perfect for the fall season, Sophie's Squash is a delightful story of friendship and imagination." - Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor On a trip to the farmers' market with her parents, Sophie chooses a squash, but instead of letting her mom cook it, she names it Bernice. From then on, Sophie brings Bernice everywhere, despite her parents' gentle warnings that Bernice will begin to rot. As winter nears, Sophie does start to notice changes.... What's a girl to do when the squash she loves is in trouble? The recipient of four starred reviews, an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor, and a Charlotte Zolotow Honor, Sophie's Squash will be a fresh addition to any collection of autumn books.

  3. Wolf in the Snow - A girl is lost in a snowstorm. A wolf cub is lost, too. How will they find their way home? Paintings rich with feeling tell this satisfying story of friendship and trust. Here is a book set on a wintry night that will spark imaginations and warm hearts, from Matthew Cordell, author of Trouble Gum and Another Brother.

  4. The Way I Act - The Way I Act explores thirteen ways of behaving. The friendly verses and bold illustrations convey many positive ideas of how to act in a variety of situations. In the companion book, The Way I Feel, children learned that feelings come and go and simply are. A little older now, they are ready to think about the ability they have to control how things turn out. Like The Way I Feel, this book is ideal for children with autism.

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Books About Imagination and Adventure

What To Do With a Box book
#1
What To Do With a Box
Written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Chris Sheban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love how this book encourages creativity and imaginative play. This book doesn't have a lot of text, but I like that it's simple and shows how many different things you can do with a box.

If you give a child a box, who can tell what will happen next? It may become a library or a boat. It could set the scene for a fairy tale or a wild expedition. The most wonderful thing is its seemingly endless capacity for magical adventure, a feature imaginatively captured in cardboardesque art by Chris Sheban and rhythmically celebrated in this poetic tribute by renowned children's author Jane Yolen.

There Is a Tribe of Kids book
#2
There Is a Tribe of Kids
Written and illustrated by Lane Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

If Lane Smith's Caldecott Honor Book Grandpa Green was an homage to aging and the end of life, There Is a Tribe of Kids is a meditation on childhood and life's beginning. Smith's vibrant sponge-paint illustrations and use of unusual collective nouns such as smack and unkindness bring the book to life. Whimsical, expressive, and perfectly paced, this story plays with language as much as it embodies imagination, and was awarded the 2017 Kate Greenaway Medal.

Gulliver's Travels book
#3
Gulliver's Travels
Written by Jonathan Swift and illustrated by Francesca Rossi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

A magnificently illustrated new edition of Jonathan Swift's classic novel--created just for children. Since its appearance in 1726, Gulliver's Travels has never ceased to fascinate readers. Designed for the early school years, this enchanting illustrated version takes the form of a travel journal, and features stunning large color illustrations and drawings. Kids will enjoy following Gulliver's adventures as he visits the land of Lilliput, inhabited by tiny people; Brobdingnag, where he encounters a race of giants; and other imaginary worlds.

Honorable Mentions
  1. MR Moon Wakes Up - Mr Moon always sleeps. He naps during hide-and-seek, passes out on puzzles and dozes during adventure stories. But what would happen if Mr Moon ever woke up? Would he lead us to hidden, dream-like worlds, filled with fantastic friends and exciting games? And if he did, would we remember in the morning?

  2. Imagine! - After passing a city museum many times, a boy finally decides to go in. He passes wall after wall of artwork until he sees a painting that makes him stop and ponder. Before long the painting comes to life and an afternoon of adventure and discovery unfolds, changing how he sees the world ever after.

  3. Captain Jack and the Pirates - The boys from King Jack and the Dragon are back in this swashbuckling pirate adventure with pictures by the New York Times bestselling illustrator of Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes Jack, Zack, and Caspar are building a ship—on the beach, out of sand. When they set sail on their imaginary adventure, Jack spies an enemy pirate ship nearby. They chase after the pirates, but a storm wrecks their ship and sweeps them up on a desert island. The island isn't totally deserted, though—their pirate enemies are there too. Just as the boys discover the pirates' treasure (an array of delicious desserts), the pirates (their parents) capture them. But these pirates are friendly—they're willing to share the treasure, and they throw in some ice cream just for good measure! Perfect for storytime read-alouds, this picture book is just right for fans of Three Bears in a Boat, How I Became a Pirate, and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

  4. Zoe's Jungle - When Mama’s schedule and Zoe’s playtime collide, what's an explorer to do? A quest book, a sister story, and a race against the clock, Zoe’s Jungle is a heartwarming tale of adventure and imagination.

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Books About Imagination and Inspired By Classic Literature

Peter Pan book
#1
Peter Pan
Written and illustrated by Jennifer Adams
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

BabyLit is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature, and little ones will love Peter Pan: A BabyLit Adventure Primer. With clever, simple text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and adorable illustrations by Sugar's Alison Oliver, this book is a must for every savvy parent's nursery library. Collect all of the classic literature-inspired BabyLit primers!

Lit for Little Hands: Peter Pan book
#2
Lit for Little Hands: Peter Pan
Written by J.M. Barrie, Brooke Jordan and illustrated by David Miles
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” Join Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, and the Darling children on their epic adventure! Filled with interactive wheels and pull-tabs, and lavishly illustrated, Lit for Little Hands: Peter Pan is an unprecedented kid's introduction to J. M. Barrie's beloved classic novel. Unlike many board books that tackle the classics, Lit for Little Hands tells the actual story in simple, engaging prose. Gorgeous and whimsical illustrations transport the reader to Neverland, while tons of interactive elements invite kids to help Peter catch his shadow, battle swashbuckling pirates, and, of course, fly! Fans of the novel will be delighted by the book's attention to detail and clever use of original text and dialogue. And the book's super-sturdy board means everyone can enjoy this tale over . . . and over . . . and over again! You'll never have to grow up!

Lit for Little Hands: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland book
#3
Lit for Little Hands: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Written by Brooke Jordan, Lewis Carroll and illustrated by David Miles
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

"Curiouser and curiouser!" Filled with interactive wheels and pull-tabs and lavishly illustrated, Lit for Little Hands: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is an unprecedented kid's introduction to Lewis Carroll's beloved classic novel. Unlike many board books that tackle the classics, Lit for Little Hands tells the actual story in simple, engaging prose. Gorgeous and whimsical illustrations transport the reader to Wonderland, while tons of interactive elements invite kids to grow and shrink with Alice, pour the tea at a mad tea party, and more! Fans of the novel will be delighted by the book's attention to detail and clever use of original text and dialogue. And the book's super-sturdy board means everyone can enjoy this wonderful tale over . . . and over . . . and over again!

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - There’s more to the story than just lions, tigers, and bears – there are also so many colors to explore! From the wicked witch and her evil black dress, to the good witch Glinda and her bright pink socks, you’ll find all of the familiar characters of Oz decked out in brilliant technicolor!

  2. Alice in Wonderland: A Babylit Storybook - In Alice in Wonderland: A BabyLit Storybook, preschoolers can tag along on Alice's beloved adventure, meeting new friends and defeating powerful enemies. Easy-to-follow, engaging text combined with original quotes and beautiful artwork create a book to be treasured through childhood and beyond. Part of the BabyLit Storybook Series. BabyLit primers have become the chic, smart way to introduce babies to the most beloved and readable literature of our time. Gibbs Smith is now presenting a delightful collection of picture books, lovingly designed and crafted for young children. Each book retells a story from the literary canon, bringing a classic to life for an entirely new audience. After training as an editor in London, Mandy Archer went on to become the Head of Children's Books for BBC Worldwide, nurturing such characters as Wallace & Gromit, Bob the Builder, and the Teletubbies. Since then she has written many titles, ranging from board books for babies right up to teen fiction. Mandy lives in England. Annabel Tempest has illustrated everything from children's books and greetings cards to maps and packaging. She lives in England in Somerset.

  3. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, and Six More - Seven superb short stories from the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG! Meet the boy who can talk to animals and the man who can see with his eyes closed. And find out about the treasure buried deep underground. A cleaver mix of fact and fiction, this collection also includes how master storyteller Roald Dahl became a writer. With Roald Dahl, you can never be sure where reality ends and fantasy begins.

  4. Wonderful, Wicked, and Whizzpopping - An interactive introduction and fresh new look at Roald Dahl’s world and characters! A brilliant extension to Dahl’s wonderful stories, this book gives fascinating insights into the characters and events from Roald Dahl’s writing in a humorous, exciting and downright gloriumptious way. For the very first time, the stories behind the stories–like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Matilda, and more–are brought to life in this brand new title. Inside, Quentin Blake’s iconic illustrations are combined with imagined letters, artifacts and news clippings, and editing notes from Dahl himself, to bring all of Roald Dahl’s characters alive. Whether you have read all of Roald Dahl’s stories, or are just beginning to enjoy them, this is a great companion book that will help you delve even deeper into Roald Dahl’s worlds!

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Books About Imagination and Dogs

Dog Loves Drawing book
#1
Dog Loves Drawing
Written and illustrated by Louise Yates
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Such a cute book about imagination and the fun adventures it will take you. :) I love that this book starts with the dog unsure of what to think up next, and that it gives the idea to doodle to gain some inspiration. :)

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.

Barkus book
#2
Barkus
Written by Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Marc Boutavant
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Meet Barkus. Barkus is loyal. Barkus is generous. Barkus is family. The exuberant Barkus and his lucky young owner whirl and twirl across the pages of this delightful pre-chapter book series from award-winning author Patricia MacLachlan. The accessible text is ideal for even the newest independent reader, while the warm, humorous story and energetic illustrations will appeal to picture book readers as well as advanced readers.

Skippyjon Jones in the Doghouse book
#3
Skippyjon Jones in the Doghouse
Written and illustrated by Judy Schachner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

For another loco adventure. In his room for a time-out, Skippyjon Jones lets his imagination take him to a shack where his Chihuahua friends are yipping and yapping and hiding out from the bad Bobble-ito, who has taken over their doghouse. How El Skippito chills the Chihuahuas and banishes the Bobble-ito will make more amigos for this endearing and irresistible rascal, who made his first appearance in the favorite Skippyjon Jones.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble - El Skippito is back! His doggy pals want to visit the Under Mundo—the underworld—where mummitos rest in peas. But they need El Skippito’s brains and courage to answer the riddle of the Finx and enter the mummy’s tomb. Our hero is up to the task, and he’s in for another whirlwind adventure.

  2. Skippyjon Jones-- Lost in Spice - The New York Times bestselling kitty boy blasts off into another hilarious adventure. Buckle up, amigos— everyone’s favorite kitty boy is about to lift off. You’ll want to be there when the brave Skippito gets lost in spice! That’s right, spice. Skippy knows— from his big ears to his toes—that the planet Mars is red because it’s covered in spicy red pepper. To prove it, he’s off on a space jaunt replete with craters, crazies, and creatures from Mars. His new adventure is packed with witty wordplay, Spanish phrases, and Judy Schachner’s trademark hilarity. This rollicking romp is simply out of this world.

  3. Snow Dog, Sand Dog - What would you do if you were allergic but realy wanted a dog? In this whimsical picture book, a young girl uses her crafty nature and imagination to create four-legged friends each season as the weather changes. She builds a dog out of snow in winter, sand in summer, leaves in fall, and flowers in spring!

  4. Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones - Holy guacamole! Skippyjon Jones is crazy-loco for dinosaurs! The kitty boy enters (via his closet) the land of dinosaurs in search of the fabled Skipposaurus. Instead he runs into his old amigos, the Chimichango gang. When a T-Mex threatens the pack, it’s El Skippito, the great sword fighter, to the rescue. With yips and yowls, he drives the big baddie away, so all the dino-dudes can rattle their bones another day. This fourth entry in a series that Kirkus Reviews called “ay caramba, mucho fun,” will win even more fans for the Siamese cat with oversize ears and an imagination to match.

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Books About Imagination and Problem Solving

Duncan the Story Dragon book
#1
Duncan the Story Dragon
Written and illustrated by Amanda Driscoll
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Duncan the Dragon loves to read. When he reads a story, his imagination catches fire! Unfortunately . . . so does his book. Fire breath is great for roasting marshmallows, but it’s not so great for reading. Duncan just wants to get to those two wonderful words, like the last sip of a chocolate milk shake: The End. Will he ever find out how the story ends? This bright, warm tale champions determination, friendship, and a love for books. And milk shakes!

Beautiful Oops! book
#2
Beautiful Oops!
Written and illustrated by Barney Saltzberg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

A life lesson that all parents want their children to learn: It’s OK to make a mistake. In fact, hooray for mistakes! A mistake is an adventure in creativity, a portal of discovery. A spill doesn’t ruin a drawing—not when it becomes the shape of a goofy animal. And an accidental tear in your paper? Don’t be upset about it when you can turn it into the roaring mouth of an alligator. An award winning, best-selling, one-of-a-kind interactive book, Beautiful Oops! shows young readers how every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful. A singular work of imagination, creativity, and paper engineering, Beautiful Oops! is filled with pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, tears, holes, overlays, bends, smudges, and even an accordion “telescope”—each demonstrating the magical transformation from blunder to wonder.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland board book book
#3
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland board book
Written and illustrated by Alison Jay
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Alice in Wonderland is now ready for the toddler crowd in this delightful board book edition of Lewis Carroll’s classic Introduce the youngest readers to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with this dynamic new edition. Board book favorite Alison Jay illustrates the novel’s most iconic moments in her distinctive crackle-paint style. Each scene is paired with a descriptive verb, making this high-action concept book perfect for sharing with little ones.

Honorable Mentions
  1. I Am Too Absolutely Small for School - "The children's relationship is refreshingly noncombative, with Charlie as the protective and affectionate older brother who is appreciative of, rather than annoyed by, his sister's quirkiness." — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review) Lola is not so sure about school. After all, why would she need to count higher than ten when she never eats more that ten cookies at a time? Once again, it's up to ever-patient big brother Charlie to persuade Lola that school is worthwhile — and that her invisible friend, Soren Lorensen, will be welcome, too.

  2. Raj and the Best Day Ever - Best-selling illustrator Sebastien Braun introduces new character Raj in this celebration of the relationship between father and son. Raj and Dad are going on an adventure. They plan a list of all the things they will do. But then disaster strikes! Dad has left his wallet at home, and Raj thinks their day will be ruined. But maybe Raj and Dad can still have a great day--all they need is their imaginations and each other's company!

  3. Poppy Pickle - Poppy gets into a major pickle when her imagination comes alive! Poppy has the most extraordinary imagination. When she is sent upstairs to clean her room, she just can't help imagining, and suddenly . . . her imagination literally comes alive. Soon her room is jam-packed with all kinds of weird and wonderful creatures. There are a few problems, though: the mammoth puts his foot through the floor, and the hungry crocodile thinks Poppy would make a tasty snack. Poppy needs to get rid of all these creatures fast. But how?

  4. Batneezer: The Creature From My Closet - For the first time, Rob Burnside knows when his closet is about to open—but he's not prepared for what emerges. A mash-up of Ebenezer Scrooge and Lego Batman, this new visitor's unusual antics are only one of Rob's problems.While enduring visits by the ghosts of books past, present,and future, Rob learns some shocking news: A battle is brewing, and his school needs a hero. What he gets is so much more. (Spoiler alert: All the creatures from past books come visit!)

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Books About Imagination and Animals

What Do You Wear? book
#1
What Do You Wear?
Written and illustrated by Taro Gomi
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

When it comes to getting toddlers dressed, the struggle is real. Enter: Taro Gomi! The bestselling author/illustrator offers a creative and colorful look at animals, reimagining their fur, feathers, and fins as...clothes! A sheep wears a fluffy jacket, a zebra sports striped PJs, a snake is snug in a stocking, and a penguin looks dapper in a classic suit. Young children will be amused by the spirited take on animals, and they'll very likely be convinced that getting dressed is best!

The Gruffalo book
#2
The Gruffalo
Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A mouse is taking a stroll through the deep, dark wood when along comes a hungry fox, then an owl, and then a snake. The mouse is good enough to eat but smart enough to know this, so he invents . . . the gruffalo! As Mouse explains, the gruffalo is a creature with terrible claws, and terrible tusks in its terrible jaws, and knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of its nose. But Mouse has no worry to show. After all, there’s no such thing as a gruffalo. . . .

Red Wagon book
#3
Red Wagon
Written and illustrated by Renata Liwska
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A simple story about complex imaginations, now in board book! All Lucy wants to do is play with her brand-new, bright red wagon. But her mother has other plans for her-and the wagon. Lucy must go to the market and buy vegetables for dinner. Lucy doesn’t want to do chores! But she sets off for the market nonetheless, hauling her red wagon with her. Before long, her ordinary trip becomes a high-seas adventure, a ride through outer space, and a day at the circus. As long as she has her red wagon, not even chores can get in the way of Lucy’s fun. Renata Liwska’s vibrant art takes center stage in this imaginative book for the youngest of readers, just the way it did in her award-winning, New York Times bestselling titles The Quiet Book and The Loud Book!, both written by Deborah Underwood.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Story Web - In this heartfelt magical novel, Megan Frazer Blakemore shows that how we wield stories has the power to shape the world. When Alice was little, she found a gigantic spider web deep in the forest. Her dad called it the Story Web and told her how its strands were woven from the stories that hold our world together. Years later, Alice's dad is gone, and she's sure it's her fault. Now she won't even talk about her dad and definitely doesn't believe his farfetched stories. But when animals in town start acting strangely, she can't ignore them. They are trying to tell her the Story Web is in danger - that the fabric of our world is breaking. The only way to mend it is to tell honest tales from the heart. Alice must confront the real reason her dad is gone, but is she strong enough to finally tell her side of the story? This magical tale of truth and honesty, integrity and intention is perfect for fans of Katherine Applegate.

  2. The Singing Rock and Other Brand-New Fairy Tales - A genie just wants a chance to grant a wish to the frog who accidentally let him out of his lamp—meanwhile, the frog just wants to be left alone. A witch is tormented by the cheerful (and awful) singing of a persistent bard, but when she finally snaps and turns him into a rock, he just keeps on singing —somehow the power of terrible music overcomes all magic. A wizard wants a pet. An ogre just wants to make beautiful art. Four original, wry, and utterly charming fairy tales comprise this new collection for young readers. With deft, lively text from Nathaniel Lachenmeyer and eye-popping, painterly art by Simini Blocker, The Singing Rock is the perfect read for kids who love a good yarn—and good comics!

  3. Maybe a Fox - Worlds collide in a spectacular way when Newbery and National Book Award finalist Kathi Appelt and Pulitzer Prize nominee and #1 New York Times bestseller Alison McGhee team up to create a fantastical, heartbreaking, and gorgeous tale about two sisters, a fox cub, and what happens when one of the sisters disappears forever. Sylvie and Jules, Jules and Sylvie. Better than just sisters, more than best friends, they’d be identical twins if only they’d been born in the same year. And if only Sylvie wasn’t such a fast—faster than fast—runner. But Sylvie is too fast, and when she runs to the river they’re not supposed to go anywhere near to throw a wish rock just before the school bus comes on a snowy morning, she runs so fast that no one sees what happens…and no one ever sees her again. Jules is devastated, but she refuses to believe what all the others believe, that—like their mother—her sister is gone forever. At the very same time, in the shadow world, a shadow fox is born—half of the spirit world, half of the animal world. She too is fast—faster than fast—and she senses danger. She’s too young to know exactly what she senses, but she knows something is very wrong. And when Jules believes one last wish rock for Sylvie needs to be thrown into the river, the human and shadow worlds collide. Writing in alternate voices—one Jules’s, the other the fox’s—Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee tell the searingly beautiful tale of one small family’s moment of heartbreak, a moment that unfolds into one that is epic, mythic, shimmering, and most of all, hopeful.

  4. The Story of Doctor Dolittle - The Story of Doctor Dolittle is one of the most delightfully imaginative stories in children's literature, featuring the well-loved and eccentric doctor who learns to talk to animals. Unlike most doctors, Doctor Dolittle doesn't treat humans; he treats animals. His house in Puddleby-on-the-Marsh is full of an eclectic mix of creatures, from Polynesia the parrot to Gub-Gub the pig. And in that house something amazing happens--the doctor learns how to communicate with his animals! Doctor Dolittle's soon learns that the monkeys in Africa have become inflicted with a terrible disease, so with a team of trusty creatures by his side the kind-hearted doctor sets off on an action-packed adventure to save them. This beautiful paperback edition is illustrated with original line drawings from Hugh Lofting himself.

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Books About Imagination and Bedtime

Steam Train, Dream Train book
#1
Steam Train, Dream Train
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

An unabridged board book version of the bestselling hardcover, perfect for small hands! The dream train pulls into the station, and one by one the train cars are loaded: polar bears pack the reefer car with ice cream, elephants fill the tanker cars with paints, tortoises stock the auto rack with race cars, and kangaroos stuff the hopper car with balls (while zebras referee). Dreamy illustrations and gentle rhyming text make this a beloved bedtime favorite for budding train enthusiasts everywhere.

I Love You, Blankie book
#2
I Love You, Blankie
Written by Sheryl Haft and illustrated by Jane Massey
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-6

A flowing sail, a hot air balloon, a fluffy cloud, a glowing moon... with a little imagination, a blankie can be anything! This sweet and playful board book will encourage little ones to think big as they head off into dreamland. On each page, a young child uses his cozy yellow blankie in a new way, taking him everywhere from under the sea to high among the stars. As bedtime nears, the blankie turns into a balloon, a cloud, and a shooting star, eventually placing him safely into bed where he can keep dreaming and snuggling, too. Debut author Sheryl Haft and artist Jane Massey have crafted an adorable story around a universal bedtime theme. Featuring a soft padded cover, this is the perfect book to inspire sweet dreams.

King Jack and the Dragon Board Book book
#3
King Jack and the Dragon Board Book
Written by Peter Bently and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Jack, Zack and Caspar build a castle fort, then spend a day fighting dragons and beasts, but at day's end giants carry away first Sir Zack, then Caspar, and only King Jack is left to face the night creatures alone.

Honorable Mentions
  1. A Bear Hug at Bedtime - On my way to bed, I play with a tiger, a lobster and a bear – and lots of other creatures too. But why are they so familiar? In this celebration of imaginative play, a young child is surrounded and enriched by an extended and diverse family. Inclusive and playful, this is the ideal bedtime read.

  2. Rumble Grumble . . . Hush - In a spare, lyrical text, young listeners and readers will follow a little boy through his day, from early morning till bedtime, and watch as what fills his active imagination becomes real. Toys grow to life-size: a tin monkey plays a real drum and fiddle—rat-a-tat, toot!—a stuffed lion roars—rumble, grumble—and a dump truck empties its load—BANG! But when quiet time comes, and a hush settles over his bedroom, animals nap, and the boy becomes absorbed in other activities, like reading and drawing. Here is an irresistible read-aloud by a picture-book master that captures all the joy of a child’s play, and renders a boy’s imagination real.

  3. Moonlight Bear - A gentle soothing story for young children at bedtime with lovely soft artwork by the popular illustrator of The Very Helpful Hedgehog and The Very Best Sheepdog. A special glow-in-the-dark moon on the cover adds to the fun. Eva drifts off to sleep with her favourite teddy bear. When she wakes in the night. Bear is gone. She looks all over her room only to find that her teddy has turned into a real bear.

Want to see more children's books about bedtime?

Books About Imagination and Silly

Oh, the Places You'll Go! book
#1
Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-17

Dr. Seuss's wonderfully wise Oh, the Places You'll Go! is the perfect send-off for grads--from nursery school, high school, college, and beyond! From soaring to high heights and seeing great sights to being left in a Lurch on a prickle-ly perch, Dr. Seuss addresses life's ups and downs with his trademark humorous verse and illustrations, while encouraging readers to find the success that lies within. In a starred review, Booklist notes, "Seuss's message is simple but never sappy: life may be a 'Great Balancing Act,' but through it all 'There's fun to be done.'" A perennial favorite and a perfect gift for anyone starting a new phase in their life!

Caring for Your Lion book
#2
Caring for Your Lion
Written by Tammi Sauer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

We know you ordered a kitten, but we ran out of those. SURPRISE: you're the new owner of a lion! Fortunately, the big cat comes with instructions like, try very hard NOT to look like a zebra. And give your lion PLENTY of space to play. But when the feathers and fur start flying and everything s in chaos, can a lion be a child s purr-fect pet?"

Can One Balloon Make an Elephant Fly? book
#3
Can One Balloon Make an Elephant Fly?
Written by Dan Richards and illustrated by Jeff Newman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Evan asks a simple question, “Can one balloon make an elephant fly?” At first, his mother is too busy to answer. But when she takes the time to play the game with her son…magic happens.

Honorable Mentions
  1. A Couch for Llama - When the Lago family's new couch accidentally falls off their car, it's found by Llama, who discovers how much fun a couch can be.

  2. Dilly Dally Daisy - Get ready with Daisy the dawdler as she tries (really!) to get it together in this very real, very funny spin on dilly dallying. Daisy Marsha Martin is always late. For good reasons, of course. She’s busy saving the world, or teaching her stuffed animals to dance, or finding the perfect shirt to wear. But if Daisy is late one more time, then it’s no more mermaid swim class for her! This is the perfect story for fans of everyday silliness and for every kid who has been told to stop dawdling.

  3. Skippyjon Jones Cirque de Ole - The #1 New York Times bestselling kitty boy goes to the circus! In his newest adventure, the irresistible Skippyjon Jones swings out of his closet and into the spectacular Cirque de Ole, where his pals, the Chimichango gang, perform feats of derring-do. There are many acts to see, but only Skippito the Strong can perform the trickiest stunt of all. Judy Schachner’s vivacious art and riotous text make for mucho read-aloud fun. Come one, come all–with Skippyjon Jones as the circus star, the Greatest Show on Earth just got even better!

  4. Just Add Glitter - Is there really such a thing as too much bling? Find out in this sparkly homage to imagination and creativity gone wild that’s perfect for even the youngest fashion and crafting enthusiasts! Has the rainy day got you down? Not feeling fancy in your gown? Just add glitter! It all starts with a mysterious mail delivery, a little girl with a big imagination, and a sprinkling of twinkling glitter. Before long there’s glitter here, glitter there—glitter, glitter EVERYWHERE! But just when she’s about to add more glitter, the little girl realizes maybe there is such a thing as too much bling when you and your best pal start to get lost in it… From beloved author Angela DiTerlizzi and illustrator Samantha Cotterill comes a silly and sweet story that celebrates imagination, creativity, and knowing when enough is enough—or is it?!

Want to see more children's books about silly?

Books About Imagination and Fairies

Fairy Friends: An Opposites Primer book
#1
Fairy Friends: An Opposites Primer
Written and illustrated by Merrilee Liddiard
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

From the creators of BabyLit(R) . . . Parents and children alike will be swept away by the whimsical imaginings of Merilee Liddiard's board book Fairy Friends: An Opposites Primer. Reaching high and low; feeling hot and cold; dressing simple or fancy: discover, play, and spark your imagination with the Fairy Friends series enchanting illustrations to lead the way. Merrilee Liddiard grew up in a splendid home filled with delightful artistic chaos and ample creativity. She spent most of her youth making things like lions out of oatmeal boxes and drawing little humans or animals and telling the tales that went along with them. She is known in the blog world for her love of kids design, toys and DIY crafts via her popular blog mermagblog.com. She has authored and illustrated the book PLAYFUL: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids and sells many of her illustrations and designs as prints, and paper play things in her online shop.

Fairy Friends: A Colors Primer book
#2
Fairy Friends: A Colors Primer
Written and illustrated by Merrilee Liddiard
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

From the creators of BabyLit(R) . . . Parents and children alike will be swept away by the whimsical imaginings of Merilee Liddiard's board book Fairy Friends: A Colors Primer. Sunny fairy is yellow like a canary; Violet fairy is purple like a floral ring; Armanth fairy is pink like roses; Persimmon fairy is orange like a monarch. What color of fairy would you be? Merrilee Liddiard grew up in a splendid home filled with delightful artistic chaos and ample creativity. She spent most of her youth making things like lions out of oatmeal boxes and drawing little humans or animals and telling the tales that went along with them. She is known in the blog world for her love of kids design, toys and DIY crafts via her popular blog mermagblog.com. She has authored and illustrated the book PLAYFUL: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids and sells many of her illustrations and designs as prints, and paper play things in her online shop.

Fairy Friends: Seasons book
#3
Fairy Friends: Seasons
Written and illustrated by Merrilee Liddiard
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Fairy Friends Be the first to review this product From the creators of BabyLit® . . . Parents and children alike will be swept away by the whimsical imaginings of Merilee Liddiard’s Fairy Friends: A Seasons Primer. Springtime fairies are robed in flower petals, summer sprites float on leaves, autumn fairies gather falling leaves, and winter fairies skate on ice. Discover, play, and spark your imagination at any time of year with Fairy Friends' enchanting illustrations to lead the way.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Fairy Friends: A Counting Primer - From the creators of BabyLit(R) . . . Parents and children alike will be swept away by the whimsical imaginings of Merilee Liddiard's board book Fairy Friends: A Counting Primer. One acorn for wearing, two friends for tea, four petals for twirling, eight icicles to gather; and more! Discover, play, and spark your imagination with Fairy Friends' enchanting illustrations to lead the way. Merrilee Liddiard grew up in a splendid home filled with delightful artistic chaos and ample creativity. She spent most of her youth making things like lions out of oatmeal boxes and drawing little humans or animals and telling the tales that went along with them. She is known in the blog world for her love of kids design, toys and DIY crafts via her popular blog mermagblog.com. She has authored and illustrated the book PLAYFUL: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids and sells many of her illustrations and designs as prints, and paper play things in her online shop.

  2. Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies - When orphaned Katherine learns that the teeth collected by the scorned Tooth Fairy contain memories of childhood, she enlists the help of the Guardians to get her tooth back and remember her parents.

Want to see more children's books about fairies?

Books About Imagination and Nature

Something Extraordinary book
#1
Something Extraordinary
Written and illustrated by Ben Clanton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Amazing things are happening all around you. You just need to know where to look—and this whimsical picture book is the perfect place to start. Have you ever wished for something extraordinary? Like the ability to fly? Or to breathe underwater? What if you could talk to animals? It’s fun to wish for amazing things. But take a look around, and you just might find that the most “ordinary” things…can be extraordinary.

Dinosaur Parade book
#2
Dinosaur Parade
Written and illustrated by Shari Halpern
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Animal City book
#3
Animal City
Written and illustrated by Joan Negrescolor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Nina journeys to a secret jungle city populated by animals, plants, and lost objects. The reason for her visit: story hour, where a book's power holds the wild in thrall. The animals are eager for stories about space, the sea, and other worlds. But their favorite story of all is the one told here: a story about a mysterious place, laden with legend and lore, and now overtaken by nature. Five Pantone colors infuse each illustrated spread with a vibrant, electric energy, making this powerful celebration of nature—and stories—as vivid visually as its narrative is engrossing.

Honorable Mentions
  1. A River - There's a river outside my window. Where will it take me? So begins the imaginary journey of a child inspired by the view outside her bedroom window: a vast river winding through a towering city. A small boat with a single white sail floats down the river and takes her from factories to farmlands, freeways to forests, out to the stormy and teeming depths of the ocean, and finally back to the comforts—and inspirations—of home. This lush, immersive book by award-winning picture book creator Marc Martin will delight readers of all ages by taking them on a transcendent and aspirational journey through an imaginative landscape.

  2. Vroom! - Join a little girl as she zooms— past fields and forests, up mountains, over rivers, through deserts, home again, and into bed in this playful picture book about the power of imagination, from award-winning author and artist Barbara McClintock.

  3. It Starts With a Seed - In gentle rhyme, It Starts With a Seed evocatively explores the growth of a tiny sycamore seed. Taking a journey through the seasons and years, we follow the seed as it transforms from a seedling to a sapling, then a young tree, until it becomes a large tree with its branches and roots filling the page. As the tree grows, it is joined by well-loved woodland creatures – squirrels and rabbits, butterflies and owls – who make it their home. Beautiful and evocative, It Starts With a Seed is a factual story that will touch children with its simple but enchanting message of life and growth.

  4. Juna's Jar - Juna and her best friend, Hector, love to go on adventures in the park, collecting things to put in Juna’s empty kimchi jars. But then one day Hector unexpectedly moves away, and Juna is left wondering who will play with her. With the help of her special jar, Juna searches for her friend the world over. What Juna finds is that adventure—and new friends—can be found in the most unexpected places. Winner of Lee & Low’s New Voices Award, Juna’s Jar is a heartwarming and whimsical celebration of friendship and the power of imagination.

Want to see more children's books about nature?

Books About Imagination and Mischief

Polly Diamond and the Super Stunning Spectacular School Fair book
#1
Polly Diamond and the Super Stunning Spectacular School Fair
Written by Alice Kuipers and illustrated by Diana Toledano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Polly and her magic book, Spell, have all kinds of adventures together because whatever Polly writes in Spell comes true! But when Polly and Spell join forces to make the school fair super spectacular, they quickly discover that what you write and what you mean are not always the same. Filled with the familiar details of home and school, but with a sprinkling of magic, this book is just right for fans of Ivy + Bean, Judy Moody, and Dory Fantasmagory, as well for aspiring writers, who, just like Polly, know the magic of stories.

The Piano book
#2
The Piano
Written by Juha Virta and illustrated by Marika Maijala
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

What do you do when a piano shows up in your yard? Take a cat-nap? Use it as a coffee table? What's a band to do when one of its instruments goes missing? And what does a yellow sock have to do with anything?

Charlie & Mouse book
#3
Charlie & Mouse
Written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Emily Hughes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Four hilarious stories, two inventive brothers, one irresistible and award-winning beginning chapter book—now in paperback! Join Charlie and Mouse as they talk to lumps, take the neighborhood to a party, sell some rocks, and invent the bedtime banana. With imagination and humor, Laurel Snyder and Emily Hughes paint a lively picture of brotherhood that children will relish in a beginning chapter book format perfect for young readers graduating from picture books.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Dory Fantasmagory: Head in the Clouds - A loose tooth leads to hilarious hijinks with the tooth fairy in book four of the wonderfully imaginative Dory Fantasmagory series Dory has her first loose tooth, and, with her usual over-the-top excitement, she cannot stop talking about the tooth fairy. Naturally, this drives her brother and sister crazy. But it also sparks a serious jealous streak in her nemesis, Mrs. Gobble Gracker, who wants all of Dory's attention to herself. But Mrs. Gobble Gracker has decided to steal the tooth fairy's job, and flying around in a tutu from Rosabelle, she heads for Dory's house. It's time for Dory to come up with a serious plan to get the tooth fairy her job back. The fourth installment in the wildly popular Dory Fantasmagory series delivers laughs on every page as Dory teams up with her pals, real and imaginary, to save the tooth fairy for all the world's children--and get her dollar!

  2. Zach King: Mirror Magic - Zach King, the award-winning social media superstar with nearly 25 MILLION fans, is back with the third and final magical installment in his hilarious, fun-filled trilogy about Zach, a seventh grader trying to control his new magical powers. Features color graphic novel sections and an augmented reality app that brings the illustrations to three-dimensional life! BIG NATE meets DANTDM in the third magical middle grade adventure by social media superstar Zach King. Since Zach finally recovered his magical powers, middle school has never been better—he’s teaming up with his best friend, Aaron, on their super-popular YouTube channel and talking to the nicest, smartest, prettiest girl in school, Rachel. But when Zach magically “passes through” a magical mirror, he lands in a world that is the exact opposite of everything he’s ever known. Instead of finding himself at Horace Greeley Middle School, he’s at Horace Greeley MAGIC School. And in this world of opposites, everyone here has magic except him. Even worse, Zach is stuck in this world AND his alter-ego, the newly magical Jack, has passed in to Zach’s world and now living his life and getting into all sorts of trouble. Fortunately, Zach can always count on his friends—even this mixed-up magical world’s versions of them! If he can just convince the guys about the truth of his world-jumping misadventure, Zach knows, they’ll work together to figure out how to put everyone back where they belong—before it’s too late. It’s another hilarious adventure from the online and Instagram sensation Zach King. The book comes complete with a free downloadable augmented reality app that animates the illustrations in the book, bringing them to full three-dimensional life.

  3. Too Much Glue - Matty LOVES glue. At home with Dad, he makes glue glasses, glue mustaches, and glue bouncy balls. But at school, Matty’s art teacher worries and warns, “Too much glue never dries.” In art class one day, Matty decides to make the most fantastic glue project ever, with a super-special ingredient – himself! Ignoring his teacher’s warnings, Matty belly-flops onto the glue-covered table, rolls all around in the sequins and glitter, and encounters an unexpected glitch – when he tries to get up, he boings right back into the slippery, sticky mess! This calls for a dose of imagination and a little help from friends. They try a gigantic tow truck, some yarn lassoes, and dabbing Matty with everything in the nurse’s bag – but each wacky attempt only makes things worse! Finally Matty gets an idea from his hyperventilating teacher. Will it work, or will Matty be a half-boy, half-art project stuck- to-a-table forever?

Want to see more children's books about mischief?

Books About Imagination and Rescue

A Week without Tuesday book
#1
A Week without Tuesday
Written by Angelica Banks and illustrated by Stevie Lewis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A charming adventure full of magic and mystery, set in the land where stories come from. Something is broken in the land of story. Real and imaginary worlds are colliding—putting everything and everyone in grave peril. Tuesday and Baxterr, at the request of the Librarian, and with the help of Vivienne Small, venture to find the Gardener—the one person who can stop this catastrophe. On their way, they'll meet friends and foes, and discover strengths they didn't know they had. Will they be able to save the land of story?

Snared: Lair of the Beast book
#2
Snared: Lair of the Beast
Written by Adam Jay Epstein
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Thanks to a crew of misfit treasure-seekers, Wily Snare has assumed his rightful place as King of Panthasos. Wily knew how to be a great trapsmith—devising and building various contraptions to keep plunderers at bay—but he has no idea how to be a good king. And he hasn’t escaped his past. Stalag, the Cavern Mage who once kept him locked away, is amassing an army of stone soldiers to seize the kingdom. Wily’s only hope is to tame a lair beast—the one creature that stands a chance against Stalag’s army. But first, Wily and his friends will need to survive the journey to the fabled “Below”—where the lair beast dwells. This action-packed fantasy adventure is filled with snappy dialogue, dangerous creatures, spirited adventure, and inventive magic to appeal to readers 8–12.

Simon Thorn and the Shark's Cave book
#3
Simon Thorn and the Shark's Cave
Written by Aimee Carter
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Simon Thorn has only recently discovered that he's an Animalgam--a member of a secret race of people who can shift into animals. Now, after years of being bullied, he has found a home where he truly belongs, at a secret Animalgam academy. But danger lurks around the corner . . . Simon's evil grandfather, Orion, is bent on taking over the entire animal kingdom. He intends to gather the pieces of a terrible weapon that could shred the very foundations of their world. That is, unless Simon can find the pieces first. So when Simon's dolphin Animalgam friend Jam is summoned home to the underwater kingdom's headquarters, Simon sees an opportunity to secure another piece. But as soon as he and his friends arrive, their search is complicated by Jam's strict family--and a potential traitor among their ranks. Can Simon locate the piece before the entire underwater kingdom is put at risk? With plenty of action and adventure and characters full of heart, the Simon Thorn series is perfect for fans of Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Bad Mermaids: On the Rocks - Smart, daring mermaid trio Beattie, Mimi and Zelda, along with Steve the talking seahorse, may have saved the Hidden Lagoon from danger once . . . But now they're trapped aboard a spooky ship called the Merry Mary, which is heading for the legendary (and super fashionable) Crocodile Kingdom. Can they avoid a crab-tastrophe and swim against the tide to get back home? Meanwhile, on land, an ice-cream seller and gadget expert named Paris Silkensocks has uncovered a plot to destroy the mermaid world. Will she will be able to find and warn the mermaids of the impending danger before it's too late? This second book in a hilarious paper-over-board series that?s The Little Mermaid meets My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish is filled with delightful black-and-white illustrations.

  2. Pop Goes the Bubble Trouble - When bubble creatures start disappearing from the World of Make-Believe, Daisy and Posey are on the case in this eighth Daisy Dreamer chapter book! When Posey spots the quarter vending machines with plastic bubbles filled with tiny toys at Daisy’s local store, he tries to talk to them. But when they don’t answer, Daisy explains that the bubbles are just toys in the real world. So Posey invites Daisy to the World of Make-Believe, where, of course, there’s an entire world inside of those machines! Bubble creatures happily live in their plastic capsules, but it turns out there’s a tiny problem. A giant has been “borrowing” those bubble friends! Can Daisy and Posey save those bubbles before they go pop? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Daisy Dreamer chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

  3. The Rose Legacy - This sweeping, emotionally-resonant fantasy from beloved author Jessica Day George is perfect for fans of Princess Academy and Black Beauty. When orphaned Anthea Cross-Thornley receives a letter from a long-lost uncle, she wonders if she will finally find a true home. But she is shocked to learn that her uncle secretly breeds horses--animals that have been forbidden in her kingdom for centuries. More alarming is Anthea's strange ability to sense the horses' thoughts and feelings, an ancient gift called The Way. Confused and terrified, Anthea is desperate to leave, but when her family and kingdom are put at risk, can she embrace The Way and the exciting future it might bring her?

Want to see more children's books about rescue?

Epilogue

12 books that are just too good to leave off of our imagination list.

  1. Where the Wild Things Are - In the forty years since Max first cried "Let the wild rumpus start," Maurice Sendak's classic picture book has become one of the most highly acclaimed and best-loved children's books of all time. Now, in celebration of this special anniversary, introduce a new generation to Max's imaginative journey to where the wild things are.

  2. Max's Castle - Lemony Snickers - Max's Castle is a really clever book and sure to fascinate any early reader. The book brilliantly explores words by mixing around or swapping the letters in one word to create an amalgamation of similar words and anagrams. Early readers are sure to enjoy, for example, that by simply adding an "l" block to the word "adder," Max and his three brothers smartly create a ladder to escape from the dangerous adder in the dungeon of the castle. Kate Banks and Boris Kulikov have some fun with the illustrations and anagrams surprising us with threatening pirates in one page before turning "pirates" into harmless "rat pies" in the next page. This book is sure to delight readers with its wit and imaginative exploration of letters.

  3. I Spy with My Little Eye - Mouse and Little Bear take readers on a journey with each page. Start with a color, point out a shape, and then use your imagination. Is that blue square an open window? Brrr! It’s chilly outside. And is that a red triangle? No, it is a scary volcano. Perfect for bedtime or playtime, this fun and unique primer puts a new spin on a classic game, teaching colors, shapes, and creative play.

  4. The Best Birthday Present Ever - The Book Snob Mom - I still remember the anxiety I felt as a child of having the birthday gift I brought to a party unwrapped and wondering what their reaction would be, so as Squirrel watches Bear unwrap fancier and fancier presents and questions the carefully chosen stick he'd brought, I felt with him, but Bear's reaction is utterly perfect and priceless and teaches a great lesson about imagination, graciousness and the power of friendship. The illustrations are adorable too!

  1. Oh, the THINKS You Can Think! - Young readers will delight in Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! which celebrates the imagination and encourages young readers to think . . . about thinking! “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the Thinks you can think up if only you try.” Originally created by Dr. Seuss, Beginner Books encourage children to read all by themselves, with simple words and illustrations that give clues to their meaning.

  2. Not a Box - A box is just a box...unless it's not a box. From mountain to rocket ship, a small rabbit shows that a box will go as far as the imagination allows. Inspired by a memory of sitting in a box on her driveway with her sister, Antoinette Portis captures the thrill when pretend feels so real that it actually becomes real—when the imagination takes over inside a cardboard box, and through play, a child is transported to a world where anything is possible. This board book edition has sturdy pages and is a good size for the youngest readers.

  3. Pocket Full of Colors - From her imaginative childhood to her career as an illustrator, designer, and animator for Walt Disney Studios, Mary Blair wouldn't play by the rules. At a time when studios wanted to hire men and think in black and white, Mary painted the world in color. Full color.

  4. Who Was That? - This fresh, visually sophisticated follow-up to Who Done It? and Who What Where? tackles the topic of memory, as each page asks the reader to remember a detail about the characters featured on the page before. With die-cuts, clever folds, and imaginative illustrations, this book requires the sharpest readers' keen attention! The call to action on every page makes this a wonderful lap read or read-aloud, and kids of all ages will love the memory games.

  1. Dressing Up - We’re amazing! We can dance, dress up, sing and make music.

  2. Ruby Starr - Ruby Starr has a big imagination and an even bigger love of books in this funny, authentic series starter Ruby Starr has always loved books. She loves them so much that her favorite day of school is when her lunchtime book club, The Unicorns, meet. So when Charlotte, the new girl in town, wants to turn the book club into a drama club, Ruby thinks her life is pretty much over. Not to mention that Charlotte is spending a lot of time with Ruby's best friend... Is she stealing books and her BFF away from her? Ruby's going to have to use her imagination and love of reading to solve this big problem.

  3. Mary Poppins - An extraordinary English nanny blows in on the East Wind with her parrot-headed umbrella and magic carpetbag and introduces her charges, Jane and Michael, to some delightful people and experiences. Children's BOMC.

  4. Make-Believe Class - One cold, gray, winter day, Miss Winkle leads Katie Woo and the rest of her class on an imaginary journey, challenging them to find ways to complete their lessons on a sunny island, under the sea, or on the moon.

Did you enjoy our imagination book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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