Creativity and Children's Literature
New Ways to Encourage Divergent Thinking
by Marianne Saccardi
July 2014, 239pp, 8 1/2 x 11
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-61069-355-4
$50, £39, 44€, A69
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eBook Available: 978-1-61069-356-1
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This eye-opening book reveals how educators can make use of a readily available resource—literature written especially for children—to help even the youngest students think more creatively and focus in new ways.

Today's students need to be able to do more than score well on tests—they must be creative thinkers and problem solvers. The tools in this book will help teachers and parents start students on the path to becoming innovative, successful individuals in the 21st century workforce.

The children in classrooms today will soon become adult members of society: they will need to apply divergent thinking skills to be effective in all aspects of their lives, regardless of their specific occupation. How well your students meet complicated challenges and take advantage of the opportunities before them decades down the road will depend largely upon the kind of thinking they are trained and encouraged to do today. This book provides a game plan for busy librarians and teachers to develop their students’ abilities to arrive at new ideas by utilizing children’s books at hand.

Following an introduction in which the author defines divergent thinking, discusses its characteristics, and establishes its vital importance, chapters dedicated to types of literature for children such as fantasy, poetry, and non-fiction present specific titles and relevant activities geared to fostering divergent thinking in young minds. Parents will find the recommendations of the kinds of books to read with their children and explanations of how to engage their children in conversations that will help their creative thinking skills extremely beneficial. The book also includes a case study of a fourth-grade class that applied the principles of divergent thinking to imagine innovative designs and come up with new ideas while studying a social studies/science unit on ecology.


  • Demonstrates how to use children’s literature specifically to foster divergent thinking in students in school and at home
  • Provides specific suggestions for activities and example projects relevant to individual books as well as to entire teaching units
  • Supplies bibliographies of hundreds of recently published children’s books recommended for children of different age levels
  • Cites research findings that underscore the vital importance of divergent thinking in today’s world and its importance to the business community
Marianne C. Saccardi, MS, has taught at the elementary and college levels for over 35 years. Her published works include Libraries Unlimited's Art in Story: Teaching Art History to Elementary School Children and Books that Teach Kids to Write, as well as numerous articles and teacher guides. Saccardi is a children's literature consultant and a book reviewer for School Library Journal.


"Saccardi offers a substantive approach for using children’s literature to promote creative thinking. . . . This title’s practical application in school library media centers and classrooms is obvious, but public libraries will also find this useful to connect literature-based library programs with local curricula."—School Library Journal, February 20, 2015
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