Creativity Corner with Terry Shay

by Terry Shay


This year was the biggest celebration of International Dot Day ever!! More people celebrated than ever before due to some awesome partners like Epic! and KidLitTV. Since 2014, more than seven million people have celebrated in 150 countries!

Now that the dots have settled, how can we continue the momentum for creativity that began in September and have it become a year-round movement? This quarterly feature will be a reminder to keep expressing creativity and making our mark. We’ll also share reading suggestions and provide ideas for other fun activities to stay inspired. If you haven’t heard of International Dot Day, a good place to start is the website.

Click HERE to get started!


A really fun project to keep the creativity flowing is to reimagine characters from a favorite book. Anne Turner, the Kindergarten teacher at North Tama School in Traer, IA, had her students create their own trucks after reading Monster Trucks by Anika Denise and illustrated by Nate Wragg.

Anne said, “Being given the opportunity to create their own monster truck made a connection to the book and illustrator. Our students were given a chance to be an illustrator and have a blast doing it! We not only made art, but we connected what a vehicle needs to drive with a spooky imagination. Anika Denise created a wonderful book!”


The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds was the inspiration for International Dot Day. Some people don’t know that The Dot is part of the Creatrilogy. If you haven’t read Ish or Sky Color, they are an excellent way to keep the creativity flowing. Ish is the story of Ramon, the boy i n the last pages of The Dot, and what he learns when his brother makes fun of his artwork. Sky Color stars Marisol, Ramon’s sister in Ish, when her class is making a mural, she is in charge of the sky and there is no blue paint, which leads her to find a bold and bright expression of her creativity.


People to Know and Follow

Like these pages on Facebook for free flowing creativity year round:

Elizabeth Rose Stanton at Penspaper Studio


Fans of Samantha Berger


Tim Miller Illustration


Birdie by Sujean Rim


And find Debbie Ridpath Ohi on Twitter @inkyelbows

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Morning Book Club

I have a group of high school kids who meet mornings before school to read picture books. It started in November 2015 when a student asked to read Drew Daywalt’s book, The Day the Crayons Came Home. Drew had visited our school the year before and is a hero to everyone at my school. I asked the student to please read it out loud to me. After a look of surprise, he read it to me and it was awesome. That started the most amazing journey. Every morning, one to eight kids come to my office before school and we read a book together. The group fluctuates in size, but many days since last year the morning is filled with beautiful words and pictures. I have not forced the group in any way, in fact, sometimes I didn’t have a book ready to go and the kids would say, “what are we reading today?” I’ve asked the core members of the group to share some of their favorite books with you.

Here is the kids talking about the morning book club and why you should have one:

About the NT Morning Book Club

Books shared in the video:

I asked the morning book club to recommend books to my new KidLit TV friends, here is what they said:


Zach – Dear Dragon by Josh Funk Illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo


Noah – Pigs Love Potatoes by Anika Denise and illustrated by Christopher Denise


Clowey – Blue is My Happy by Jessica Young and illustrated by Catia Chien


Lexie – Monster Trucks by Anika Denise and illustrated by Nate Wragg


Caleb – Whale in my Swimming Pool by Joyce Wan and/or Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast by Josh Funk and illustrated by Brendan Kierney


Brittany – Crankenstein by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Dan Santat

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Thank you for reading!

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