12 Children’s Books to Inspire Creativity

Want to share some creative encouragement with your kiddos? We’ve got you covered with this fun list of picture books to inspire creativity!

Want to share some creative encouragement with your kiddos? We've got you covered with this fun list of picture books to inspire creativity!

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If you’ve got kiddos who love building, painting and drawing, tinkering, or inventing, these picture books will resonate and inspire them to continue their creative ventures.

And if your kiddos need a dose of confidence or a reminder to trust their creative instincts? They’ll also cheer them on and inspire them to let their uniqueness shine.

Children’s Books That Inspire Creativity

Before we jump into these fun books, know that the links in the title descriptions all lead to Amazon. That makes it easy to add them to your wishlist or cart. (Here’s an Amazon List in case you prefer to see them all in one spot.)

That said, you can also find this list on Bookshop.org. It’s a great way to support independent booksellers while adding to your children’s book stash.

1. Mix It Up!

While Herve Tullet’s Mix It Up does a wonderful job teaching colors to little ones, it’s much more than a basic book about colors. It shows what happens when certain colors mix, but does so in a way that inspires readers of any age to mix things up and enjoy the process.

2. The Dot

My daughter and I adore The Dot and never get tired of reading it. Through delightful illustrations and a story about the ever-relatable Vashti, Peter Reynolds shows the power and potential of one dot while empowering kids to make their own marks on the world.

If you love The Dot, be sure to check out other books from Peter Reynolds. While they all approach it from different angles, these all inspire creativity and rank on our list of favorite children’s books.

3. Maybe Something Beautiful

Based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, Maybe Something Beautiful reminds us of how impactful our creative efforts can be, even when we share them little by little.

4. Made by Maxine

Made by Maxine tells the story of a girl who uses her creativity and critical thinking skills to solve problems and make things better for everyone in her life.

5. What Do You Do With an Idea?

“This is a story for anyone, at any age, who’s ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult. It’s a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it some space to grow, and to see what happens next. Because your idea isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s just getting started.”

from the Amazon listing for What Do You Do With an Idea?

6. Beautiful Oops

Imagine the Bob Ross mantra “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents” applied to a picture book with lots of liftable flaps, pop-ups, and interactive elements. That’s the gist of Beautiful Oops, a super fun book that inspires creativity and recognized beauty in the less-than-perfect happenings.

7. I Have an Idea!

Another interactive book from Herve Tullet, I Have an Idea! shares the joy that comes with the start of something new. Worth noting, my daughter immediately grabbed her mixed media journal and watercolors after reading this one. 😉

8. Be a Maker

Be a Maker is a colorful picture books that begins with this important question and continues with fun ideas to inspire kids to get creative:

“Ask yourself this question in the morning when you wake:
in a world of possibilities, today, what will you make?”

Be a Maker by Katey Howes

9. Boxitects

This book recommendation goes out to all the parents who’ve watched their kiddos enjoy boxes more than the gifts they once contained. Boxitects is a story about a group of super creative kids who start off as competitors, but end up working together to make something spectacular.

10. The Most Magnificent Thing

The Most Magnificent Thing is lovely book that celebrates imagination while showing how to work through the frustration that comes when our creative efforts don’t work out as planned.

11. Rosie Revere, Engineer

If you’ve got a tinkerer in your family, you know that imagination, experimentation, and even failure all show up in the creation process. That’s why Rosie Revere, Engineer is a fantastic book to inspire creativity in kids.

Rosie is a girl who wants to become an engineer and finds inspiration and purpose in things that most people overlook. This story showcases her creativity, but also shares how Rosie deals with her own fear of failure.

Along the same lines as Rosie Revere, Engineer, be sure to check out Ada Twist, Scientist and Iggy Peck, Architect. These also feature brilliant kiddos who use their creativity to experiment, design, and make the world better.

12. With My Hands

With My Hands is a collection of poems that celebrates various forms of creativity and issues an invitation to share in the joy of making.


Looking for more reading inspiration for your kiddos? Be sure to check out the following book lists:

Want to share some creative encouragement with your kiddos? We've got you covered with this fun list of picture books to inspire creativity!

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