Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck ... maybe it's a dot

It seems like most parents experience those blissful days when their little ones need nothing more than a cardboard box to entertain themselves. I remember those hours of entertainment watching our daughters make games, toys and surprising playthings out of anything they could find - they would spend hours decorating cardboard boxes left over from deliveries and even longer crawling in and out of them and incorporating them into games. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to bottle that creativity so we could tap into it when we get older (and by older, I mean adolescence and beyond)?! In toddlerhood, creativity seems to be unrestricted and unlimited. Our teenage daughters currently inhabit the stage where they consciously limit their creativity. They are creative storytellers in writing, music, art, and drama but when they look at a box, they see a box and the many facets and possibilities they may have noticed in and about that box when they were younger are no longer apparent to them. The creative spark has not fully extinguished - after all, when I see I cute top in a store, they'll insist it's a mini-dress - but it has definitely changed. I like to step back every now and then and ask our daughters to look up at the sky and tell me what they see when they look at the clouds (and the answer cannot be clouds) and sometimes we'll point out strangers on the street or in restaurants and make up back-stories for them.  I truly believe that people who are able to keep creativity infused in their outlook are ultimately happier people than those who are unable to do so and quite likely more successful as well.

Patricia Intriago's first picture book Dot, a finalist for the Children's Choice Book Awards 2012 Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year, is a wonderful exploration of creative perception applied to the most basic of shapes. Patricia Intriago is a clever graphic designer whose talent and wit are sure to make you appreciate a seemingly simple shape in a whole new way; many ways, in fact.  If you and your child love this book (and, really, what's not to love?), then don't forget to vote for it. Voting for the 2012 Children's Choice Book Awards is now open and you can join the legions of children's book fans already voting for their faves by clicking here.

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