Little Lit Book Series: Creativity

Where's Your Creativity? | Little Lit Book Series: Creativity | Avery and Augustine
Where's Your Creativity? | Little Lit Book Series: Creativity | Avery and Augustine
Where's Your Creativity? | Little Lit Book Series: Creativity | Avery and Augustine
Where's Your Creativity? | Little Lit Book Series: Creativity | Avery and Augustine

We’re looking at the theme of creativity this month for #littlelitbookseries.  Creativity is not just for artists—it’s a backbone of everyday life, and is the foundation of innovation and problem-solving, which are important processes that are necessary and fundamental for a thriving society.  Creative moments arise when we ask ourselves the question, “What if…” or give ourselves free time to be curious, wonder and wander (sometimes all at the same time!).

We’re sharing some books this month that ponder what creativity is, what it means in our lives, what it looks like and how to foster it in our children.  We’ll also be sharing picture books in which writers and illustrators take a highly creative approach in crafting their written or visual narrative.  Follow along all month at @littlelitbookseries.

Where's Your Creativity? shows us that creativity is all around us and it’s more present in our lives than we tend to think—it’s not just found in ideas or pictures but in our dreams, the way we move, dress, the buildings in our neighborhoods.  The book also offers readers ways to seek creativity right where they are—without moving from their little spot in the world.  Loved this one from cover to cover, and highly recommend it.  Leaving you all with a fantastic quote from it:

“Even before you woke up this morning, you were already being creative.  While you were asleep your brain was busy jiggling your memories like a box full of puzzle pieces.  In your dreams the pieces fit together in surprising new ways.  Turn your dreams into story and write like you dream — without any rules.”

Where's Your Creativity? was written by Aaron Rosen and Riley Watts, illustrated by Marika Maijala and published by Tate | Abrams. It’s out now in the UK and publishes on April 10 in the US.

Do check out the creative shares that are happening today with the hashtag #littlelitbookseries on Instagram. 

dot and anorak magazine + giveaway

If we love anything, it's a design-centric magazine for kids and their parents.  Magazines provide a fresh perspective from artists and writers, featuring their newest work and ideas.  This week we’re enjoying flipping through Dot and Anorak, whose engaging stories, puzzles, games, creative projects, imaginative prompts and interactive pages are perfect for a road trip or an afternoon out at a cafe, paired with a cozy hot chocolate and croissant.  Anorak is for 6 to 12-year-old readers and Dot is its younger counterpart, perfect for little ones.

Be sure to check out the international Dot and Anorak giveaway going on at @littlelitbookseries.  It ends Thursday, December 8, at 11:59 PST.

don't move the muffin tins

Bev Bos, who served as director of Roseville Community Preschool for almost 50 years, was an early childhood educator with incredible expertise about play-based learning, process art and developmentally-appropriate learning experiences for preschoolers.  There is no one in the field of early childhood who hasn’t been impacted by her work.  She was quoted as once saying, “The basics for young children are wonder, discovery and experience.  If it hasn’t been in the hand, the body and the heart, it can’t be in the brain.”

We have her seminal work on children and art: Don’t Move the Muffin Tins: A Hands-Off Guide to Art for the Young Child.  There is so much goodness in the book, too much to share in one post, so I’ll leave you all with some quotes and implore you to seek out a copy of Don’t Move the Muffin Tins for yourself.  I got this copy, used, years ago.  It’s out of print but shouldn’t be too hard to find.  Bev Bos will help you provide experiences for your child so that they can tap into their innate creativity through exploration and making their own choices.  It will teach you how to listen to your child in ways that you’ve never thought of.

“The young child grows from the head down and the midline out.  If we are in tune to the child’s growth, we know, for example, that a two-year-old will probably not paint or draw circles.  Does this mean a different set of activities for each age?  Certainly not.  We need only to learn to present materials and let each child develop an individual creativity.

Children need to please only themselves.  Does this mean the child can throw the paint?  Spill the glue?  Of course not.  I’m referring to basic use of art materials.  Once you’ve presented the materials, forget how *you* intended them to be used.  Sometimes it’s difficult.  You may have one end product in mind, but the child may have another idea.  If that’s the case, hands off!  It’s easier to observe this principle in art activity than in crafts because there is no right or wrong in art, of course, just creating.”

start creative studio doodle books

Every once in a while, it’s interesting to set some sort of restrictions or confines on a creative task.  This act can take your pen in a different direction.  This can be as simple as giving yourself a round piece of paper for drawing.  Because the shape is not what you’re used to, you’ll automatically produce something different than what you would normally do given a regular piece of paper.  If you were given a piece of graph paper, the grid might inspire you to draw something more geometric in nature with many corners or angles.  

Doodle books from Start Creative Studio are kind of like that.  Each page has a line, squiggle or shape that serves as a creative starter or prompt and inspires you to consider it and imagine how it initiates your drawing, or how it becomes a component of the thing you end up depicting.  The prompts in Doodle Books tap different aspects of creativity—maybe what you’re not used to (in a good way).  It’s great to switch things up every once in a while.  Something new and brilliant might just come of it.

Many thanks to Start Creative Studio for sending us some of their engaging doodle books!  All opinions stated are my own.