Creativity Corner: Finding Inspiration

by Terry Shay

One great source of creative inspiration throughout the year is the Celebridots website. The Celebridot gallery was inspired when Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech sent me a dot on International Dot Day in 2011. Seeing the dot that one of my favorite authors created made me think that dots from other famous people could be inspirational for kids and the Celebridot site was born.

What happened next has been a constant source of inspiration for me and kids around the world. What started as a fun connection between books, kids and dots has grown into a gallery of the most diverse dots. Not only is there beautiful art that comes from a more traditional viewpoint, created by professional artists, but there is also an amazing collection of other media and styles represented.

Here are some examples of non-traditional approaches to dot making:

Sewing from author Heidi Stemple
Clay from clay illustrator Susan Eaddy
Blue hair dye from author Ame Dyckman
Raspberry juice from author Bethanie Marguia
Pancake from author Josh Funk
Photography from Commander Chris Hadfield from the International Space Station
Painting on a highway marker from Pixar Art Director, Tia Kratter
Cut paper from author/illustrator Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Computer code from author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang
And the famous Peepy from author Lisa Yee

Check out the entire collection at!

Brave Teacher Shows Creativity

Teachers, this message is for you. If you want to have creative students, you need to model bravery for them by showing your own creativity. I love this message from Mary Alice Ramsey, Media Coordinator in Holly Springs, NC  from the Dot Day post on her blog, Learning to Flex:

I had a shift in myself. Me – ‘the one who “can’t draw.” The one whose art doesn’t look like anything that it should look like, is now drawing. Taking a risk. As kindergarten friends are calling out names of animals that could be pets, I sketch them. And then, this happened:

S1: That doesn’t look like a horse.

S2: It’s her art. It looks like a horse to me. It’s just fine.

S2 gets up and comes to hug me, to reassure me that my art matters.

And yes, my heart grew 2 sizes in that moment. And I will draw again.

Blogs About Books

Last month I shared some people to follow; this month I’d like to share four blogs that will have you thinking differently about books and give you some new books to read.

Design of the Picture Book by Carter Higgins 

Childrens Books Heal by Patricia Tilton  

The Little Crooked Cottage by bloggers Anika Denise, Kara LaReau, and Jamie Michalak

Librarians Quest by Margie Myers-Culver

Brilliant Illustrations

Clowey, one of the members of my morning book club featured last month, has been checking out the illustrations in books and would like to share some of her favorites:

Books mentioned:

The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield

The Night Gardener by the Fan Brothers

Shy by Deborah Freedman

Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Julie Morstad

Star Bright by Alison McGhee and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

The Clever Stick by John Lechner

Morning Book Club Recommendations

Books mentioned:

A Friend for Mole by Nancy Armo

The Bear Who Wasn’t There by LeUyen Pham

Hannah and Sugar by Kate Berube

Penguin Problems by Jory John and Lane Smith

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