Blog: Bright Ideas

Creativity-Boosting Gifts You Can Give Your Kids: Books

This post is the fourth in a series of creativity-boosting gifts you can give to the kids in your life. For more gift ideas, check out thoughts on unstructured play, space to create, unwrappable presents, and opportunities to create together.


Gift #4 - Books

We all know that books are gateways to the imagination. Whether you are setting up a reading space, searching for books to read together, or just want to find some books that will spark your child’s imagination, books are a great way to journey outside of a child’s daily experience and open their eyes to the world. Here are some titles on our bookshelf, and some reasons why we love them.

  • The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds: Vashti, our grade-school protagonist, can’t draw - or so she thinks. This book is a reminder that creativity isn’t something you’re born with, so much as it’s something you practice and build.
  • What Do You Do With A Problem?” by Kobi Yamada: By stepping outside of his comfort zone, the protagonist is able to see his persistent problem in a different light.
  • Anything Is Possible” by Giulia Belloni: When a wolf and a sheep team up to create a flying machine, they try and err and try again, and discover just what’s possible through collaboration and perseverance.
  • Beautiful Oops!” by Barney Saltzberg: This book is all about marvelous mistakes, celebrating the opportunities within the unintentional. Full of pop-ups and paper engineering, this book is great for experiential learners.
  • Chalk” by Bill Thompson: This book is great for practicing being visionary - it has no words. With vivid, imaginative illustrations as your guide, write your own words for a story about creativity and problem-solving.
  • Rosie Revere, Engineer” by Andrea Beaty: Seven-year-old Rosie loves engineering, but is afraid people will laugh at her contraptions. To help her great-great-aunt realize a dream, Rosie must reject fear as a constraint as she designs something marvelous.
  • Wilma Unlimited” by Kathleen Krull: In this true story, Kathleen Krull shows how Olympian Wilma Rudolph rejected the future she was offered and became the fastest woman on earth.
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson: Originally published in 1955, Harold and his imaginative moonlit walk have inspired generations to envision and create a better world.
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer: The true story follows 14-year-old William Kamkwamba and his mission to change his world by bringing a new form of electricity to his Malawi village.
  • The Most Magnificent Thing” by Ashley Spires: Inventing isn’t always easy. When a young innovator with a big idea fails again and again, she gets so mad that she quits - almost.
  • Reading List: 14 Books That Connect Students with Valuable Scientists' Struggles from KQED's MindShift.

Want more inspiration? Check out Galileo’s Innovator's Bookshelf on Pinterest.

Hope Adams is a Galileo Area Director in Orange County, CA. When she’s not encouraging young innovators - including her two kids - she loves expressing her own creativity through cooking, photography, and drawing.