I love kids picture books. There are SO many to choose from, it’s such a pleasure to browse the bookstore, online book titles and the local library. Great books are such a treat – beautifully written, gorgeous pictures and great characters to fall in love with. A good book can also be a great way to explore ‘big ideas’ or concepts with kids. Kids happily relate to the stories and the characters in a book, and talk about the ideas within the book. As a teacher, a good book can help spark conversation and engagement about something we are studying in class. It can support and drive forward ideas and concepts that you are studying, and help kids understand it, as they relate to (often) imaginary characters and their adventures and ideas. I regularly spent many hours looking for the perfect books to read to my class, or add to the class library, that would help my kids understand or inspire my kids to talk about whatever we were learning about in class.
Here are 7 books that you are going to love about IMAGINATION. IF you are looking to spark imagination or conversation about curiosity with your kids, these books would be a definite bonus in your classroom.
1. Are We There Yet?
Hands up if you like long car journeys. This picture book really captures the mood of a long journey with an unhappy kid in the back of the car. I LOVE this book! It’s about the adventures that can happen once you get a little bit bored, and let your imagination take over!
This book would definitely spark conversations about long journeys, moments kids have been bored, and the ideas they have had or could have if they let their imaginations run free.
2. The Cow Who Climbed a Tree
Tina is a very curious cow. She is full of ideas and constantly want to try new things. Her sisters think her ideas are ‘nonsense’ and prefer to stay in the farm and eat grass. One day they go looking for Tina, and discovered just how exciting it can be when you try the impossible.
This is a gorgeous book that would be a great springboard for a conversation about curiosity, asking questions and trying something new!
3. This is Sadie
Sadie is a little girl who is full of imagination. This story takes us on a journey through Sadie’s imaginative day as she sails the sea, lives under the sea, visits wonderland and is a hero in fairytales. The book shows Sadie using a giant box and different things in her bedroom before setting off on her adventures.
4. Use Your Imagination
This is a super cute book. When Rabbit is bored, Wolf suggests he uses his imagination to create a story. At first Rabbit suggests the story should be about ‘space rockets…..big explosions! And bananas.’ Wolf talks Rabbit through how to make a story with a bad guy, hero, setting….and before Rabbit knows it he is in a story about a Rabbit trying to escape from a Wolf! But he uses his imagination to solve the problem.
5. Henry’s Amazing Imagination
This is one of my new favorite books, and I’ll tell you why. This is a story about a little mouse who has a fantastic imagination. He uses his imagination during show and tell, to share ‘news’ with his class about his neighbor’s pet dinosaur and how aliens landed on his lawn. This book made me laugh a lot, because when I was in school my younger brother did exactly this! In fact his ideas were so creative that the teacher temporarily suspended show and tell because the kids’ stories were become more and more creative! Anyways, Henry’s teacher encourages him to use his imagination to write stories, and a little mouse writer is born 🙂
6. Not a stick
This book is has little text, simple line drawings, and yet the message of the book is SO strong. It has the reader eager to turn the page to see what the stick is. The stick ‘is not a stick’, but it’s a fishing rod, baton, paintbrush and horse! This is an adorable book, and is a great book to have in your classroom to spark conversation about imagination and creativity!
7. My Imagination Kit
On a wet morning, a little boy’s mother hands him a box of crayons and tells him it’s an Imagination Kit. The little boy sends the day drawing his way through a jungle, the ocean and a desert island. By calling the crayons an ‘Imagination Kit’ the box of crayons is transformed into a tool to have a fantastic adventure. I love that description. If you ever have a kid who says they’re bored, this is a great book to read to them, right before you hand them their very own imagination kit!
What other books do you read your to your class to spark conversation and ideas about imagination? I’d love to add to the list I have already.