Inspire Creativity with This Growing List of Picture Books

Books PLUS conversation starters to inspire creativity from the kindness experts at

Creativity makes empathy easier.

Walking in someone else's shoes is - above all - an act of imagination.

Help your child (and yourself!) unlock creative potential and practice imaginative thinking with the conversation starters and books in this unique list. When you're ready, use your creativity to share kindness with our project suggestions below!

Talk about the issue.

  • Think about the books, movies, photographs, or paintings you’ve experienced. Which ones do you still remember and think about? Why do you think they made such a big impression?

  • What is your favorite creative activity? (drawing? painting? writing? sculpting? movie making? music?) How can you use this to advocate for a cause you care about?

  • Art is a powerful way to tell your story (or someone else’s), and such stories are essential for social change. What story might you tell with your art?

  • Is it sometimes hard to share your art with others? Why or why not?Do you ever find it difficult to share your creations with others? Why or why not?

  • What is your favorite artistic activity?  (drawing? painting? writing? sculpting? movie making? anything?)

  • Brainstorm a short list of ways your family can use your creative talents to share kindness with others.

  • What materials would you like to have on hand in case the creative mood strikes? Consider assembling a creativity corner full of craft supplies, recycled goodies, duct tape, and anything else you come up with.

  • Have you ever felt the same way the character in your story felt? Tell a story about that time.

  • Imagine if you faced the same challenge as the character in your story? How would you have reacted?

Enjoy our growing list of thoughtful books to spark your imagination!

Featured Title

Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell
The touching story of how a community comes together to create beauty. Based on a true story.

More DGT Favorites

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle
The inspirational story of how one little girl changed the world through her passion for drumming. Beautiful, vibrant illustrations.

Frida by Jonah Winter
This sweet, insightful tribute to Frida Kahlo illustrate the many ways she channeled the challenges she faced into art that healed herself and offered comfort to those around her.

Harlem's Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills by Renee Watson
A biography of Florence Mills, a powerful voice of the Harlem Renaissance, who used that voice to advocate for justice.

There is a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me by Alice Walker
Pulitzer-Prize winning author Alice Walker brings a beautiful, poignant collection of verses that help us see nature, creativity, and our place in the world in a fresh, powerful way.

What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada
This beautiful book is perfect for people of all ages, all aspirations, and all phases of creative endeavor. How do you nurture an idea? You'll see!

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
Discover the reason this book tops any book list about creative endeavors. It's impossible to read reach the end without a strong desire to "make your mark."

Ella’s Trip to the Museum by Elaine Clayton
Ella uses her vivid imagination – dancing with the ballerinas in the paintings, frolicking with a statue of a Roman goddess — to make her visit to the museum memorable.

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
Grab your boxes, parents. This book is a celebration of a imaginative play in its most classic form. When your story is done, visit our Pinterest Board Kids Can Upcycle! for more ideas for creating something new out of something ordinary.

Can You Find It? America: Search and Discover More Than 150 Details in 20 Works of Art by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Linda Falken
Look beyond the overall picture to discover details and otherwise overlooked features within famous works of art.

Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg
In this culture nearly paralyzed by a fear of failure, we are hearing time and again that children aren't being allowed to make mistakes. This book is certainly part of the cure! Discover the beauty in a mistake, then set out to make a few of your own!

Visiting the Art Museum by Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown
Ages 4 and up. A charming look at a family’s visit to the museum. See it all — Rousseau, Pollock, mummies and arms and armor — along with the kind of comments you’d truly hear from kids touring a museum. (“I’ve seen enough. Let’s eat lunch.”)

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Have you ever set out to make something magnificent? Have you ever had a vision, but wondered how to make it a reality? Have you ever been so frustrated by a project that - vision or no vision - you decided to quit right then and there?

This charming book may help you look your current challenges from a whole new angle.

How the Sphinx Got to the Museum by Jesse Hartland
Follow the journey of the Sphinx over the span of thousands of years from its journey from Egypt to New York City.

Mrs. Brown on Exhibit and Other Museum Poems by Susan Katz, illustrated by R.W. Alley
A collection of poems from a teacher and her class who love museums. From an insectarium to clocks to a giant heart, kids learn about exhibits in museums all over the country.

Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty
Kids everywhere will fall in love with Iggy Peck and his outrageous, unstoppable urge to create. With towers of diapers, cathedrals of apples, and a second grade teacher who believes the classroom is no place for an architect, this clever story will become a family favorite.

Sarabella's Thinking Cap by Judy Schachner
Sarabella can't help but daydream, and her teachers and classmates are getting frustrated with her.If only they could understand all the beautiful thoughts that run through her head. She creates an amazing "thinking cap” to show everyone how rich her imagination really is.

Willow by Denise Brennan-Nelson & Rosemarie Brennan
Creativity can be messy. Mrs. Hawthorn is not a fan of mess. Willow, on the other hand, is delights in the wild, wanderings of her imagination. You'll find both Mrs. Hawthorn and Willow have something important to teach us in this one-of-a-kind story.

The Town of Turtle by Michelle Cuevas
"Sometimes, thought Turtle, the world you dream can come alive all around you." But only after quite a lot of creativity and hard work. The language of this simple story is magical.

Doug Unplugged by Dan Yaccarino
Doug is a robot who wants to learn about the world by exploring it, rather than simply getting downloaded facts. Reveals the joys of getting “unplugged.”

The Three Things by Annie Ruygt
Through the eyes of The Nothing, The Everything, and The Something, we discover how different people might see the world differently. Elegant in its simplicity, this book lends itself to big-hearted conversations about compromise, criticism, acceptance, beauty, and even our relationship with "stuff."

Sneaky Art: Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight by Marthe Jocelyn
Create "LIttle Landmarks" to hide along trails in a local park. Or leave behind art featuring a "Lucky Penny" to brighten someone's day. This little book is full imaginative (and sneaky) ideas to brighten the world around you. 

Back to Read Together for more book lists

Haven't found what you're looking for?
Visit our Complete Resource List. Or browse our collection of projects that allow you to get Creative for a Cause.


Disclaimer: Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.