Before you read anything else on this list, run (don’t walk) to your local library and track down two unforgettable picture books by Peter Reynolds: Ish and The Dot. Short and sweet titles for two incredible books that will affirm your passion about the arts, no matter what you do.

If you have recommendations that you’d like to share, let me know!

Children’s Literature:
These are some of my favorite children’s books on which I’ve based creative drama curriculum for young people pre-K through 3rd grade. Enjoy!

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Click, Clack, Moo by Doreen Cronin
Duck For President by Doreen Cronin
Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock by Eric A. Kimmel
Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
by Mo Willems
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
Imagine a Day
by Sarah L. Thomson
If… by Sarah Perry
Rose’s Garden by Peter H. Reynolds
Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barret
The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater
I’m Here by Peter Reynolds

Drama Strategies:
Theater Games for the Classroom by Viola Spolin
Teaching Drama to Young Children by Mem Fox
Structuring Drama Work by Jonathan Neelands and Tony Goode
The Dramatic Difference by Sarah Pleydell and Victoria Brown
Theatre for Community, Conflict and Dialogue by Michael Rohd

On Creativity and Artistry:
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink
Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art by Stephen Nachmanovitch
Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon


7 thoughts on “Bookshelf

  1. Thank you for sharing this list. Too often, TA’s are too competitive (esp. in the same potential work area) and are loathe to share info. Too many artists, not enough work, will do that. I just ordered those two picture books (Ish & The Dot) and look forward to reading them…and hopefully finding a use for them.
    I own the book of I Never Saw Another Butterfly (used as research for a paper I was writing), but did not know there was a play. Thank you for the introductions to new things.
    I normally don’t follow blogs. I will with this one.

  2. You need to throw some Shakespeare in here. 4th grade is a great time to start. Tina’s book is great for elementary and middle schoolers.

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  7. Hi there! I am planning a “Where the Wild Things Are” creative drama class for the Spring. This’ll be my first creative drama class that I am teaching alone. I would love to get some ideas about how to structure an 8-week class around this book. Could you e-mail the curriculum that you created?

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