Books that encourage flexible thinking

girl and dog reading

Books that encourage flexible thinking


Here are some picture books with characters who have to get creative and problem-solve:

    • Bennett, Kelly.
      Not Norman : a goldfish story
      Summary:Overview: Norman the goldfish isn’t what this little boy had in mind. He wanted a different kind of pet – one that could run and catch, or chase string and climb trees, a soft furry pet to sleep on his bed at night. Definitely not Norman. But when he tries to trade Norman for a “good pet,” things don’t go as he planned. Could it be that Norman is a better pet than he thought? With wry humor and lighthearted affection, author Kelly Bennett and illustrator Noah Z. Jones tell an unexpected – and positively fishy – tale about finding the good in something you didn’t know you wanted.

    • Egan, Tim.
      The pink refrigerator
      Summary:Dodsworth does as little work as he can, collecting items from a junkyard and placing them in his thrift store for sale, until he happens upon a pink refrigerator that spurs him to do much more with his life.

    • Hoban, Russell.
      Bread and jam for Frances
      Summary:Frances decides she likes to eat only bread and jam at every meal–until to her surprise–her parents grant her wish.

    • Mack, Jeff.
      Good news, bad news
      Summary:While on a picnic, Bunny and Mouse see everything that happens to them from opposite points of view–Bunny sees only the good, while Mouse sees only the bad.

    • Malbrough, Mike
      Marigold bakes a cake
      Summary:Marigold the cat likes everything just so, but when he sets out to bake a perfect cake one Monday, he is interrupted by one finch, two pigeons, and three loons.

    • Manceau, Édouard
      Summary:Colorful and oddly shaped scraps of paper blow in the wind. One by one, they take shape, transforming into animals–each one with its own story to tell. But the wind has the final say when it blows them all away.

    • Meade, Holly.
      Inside, inside, inside
      Summary:Noah and Jenny play a game in which they place one item inside another, over and over, until they place it all in the shower, then imagine and draw the shower inside the house, inside the neighborhood, and all the way to the solar system.

    • Moss, Marissa.
      Regina’s big mistake
      Summary:When told to draw a jungle in art class, Regina experiences feelings of failure and creative insecurity, but manages to create a beautiful picture that’s all her own.

    • OHora, Zachariah.
      No fits, Nilson!
      Summary:Amelia must continually remind her gorilla friend, Nilson, not to have fits, especially when they are running errands with her mother, but sometimes Amelia stomps and growls, too.

    • Parr, Todd
      It’s okay to make mistakes
      Summary:Presents a series of situations in which taking chances and trying new things can lead to good results, even if there were mistakes along the way.

    • Reynolds, Peter
      Going places
      Summary:Rafael has looked forward to the Going Places contest and builds his go-cart from a kit in record time, but his neighbor, Maya, has a much more interesting and creative idea for her entry and Rafael decides to help.

    • Reynolds, Peter H.
      Summary:Ramon loses confidence in his ability to draw, but his sister gives him a new perspective on things.