Just Imagine: Picture Books that Inspire Imaginative Play

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My favorite memories of childhood are those in which I found myself creating and exploring different worlds. I remember producing and acting in countless performances, spending hours building and playing in forts, climbing “mountains,” and hunting for leprechauns. Childhood at its best is imagination.

As a mom and educator, my favorite aspect of Wiwiurka products is their natural ability to inspire imaginative play. I’d like to share six of my favorite picture book titles that share this same spirit of imagination and wonder.

We Became Jaguars

Publisher: Chronicle Kids Books | Author: Dave Eggers | Illustrator: Woodrow White

One day, a boy’s grandmother comes for a visit. Together, the two transform into fierce jaguars and explore the jungle, mountains, and more, only stopping when the boy realizes he should probably get to school.

My Rainy Day Rocket Ship

Publisher: Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | Author:
Markette Sheppard | Illustrator: Charly Palmer

On a rainy day, a boy is stuck indoors. He decides to create an adventure unlike any other by making his own rocket ship and gear out of everyday household items and by blasting off to space. This book shows how kids can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary through imagination.

I See You See

Picture books for children and toddler toys
Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books | Author: Richard Jackson | Illustrator: Patrice Barton

Jonah and Maisie go for a walk with their dog Tinker. The siblings see the world through the magical lens of a child. The clouds are baby dinos on stilts, the parallel clotheslines are a tunnel, and the weeping willow is a bell machine that can be rung! This book is a celebration of the imagination of childhood and the wonder of nature.

Grace and Box

Picture books for children grace and box
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends | Author: Kim Howard | Illustrator: Megan Lotter

When the new refrigerator arrives, Grace gets Box. Grace and Box are the best of buddies. Box becomes a rocket, Roman ruins, a submarine, and more. When Box’s condition deteriorates, Grace takes care of it and finds innovative ways to extend its life and continue their creative  adventures together.

Ivy Bird

Picture books stuck inside
Publisher: Blue Dot Kids Press | Author: Tania McCartney | Illustrator: Jess Racklyeft

Ivy spends her day among the birds, pretending that she is a bird from sunup to sundown! Ivy pecks about, paddles in the pond, and creates a secret treasure nest. This delightful title captures the playful spirit of childhood and the joy of imaginative play.

Stuck Inside

Publisher: Sunbird Books | Author/Illustrator: Sally Garland

Tilly and her dog Toby are stuck inside.  Together they gather a collection of outdoor belongings, many of which had been forgotten. With all their stuff, they make plans, reminisce about the past, and imagine great adventures. They also invent a spectacular dog-walking machine! In the process, they forget that they are stuck inside and they realize that the real fun of the outdoors lies within themselves.

These titles (and more!) can also be found in a Bookshop collection here and on an Amazon list here.

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