The Creativity Project: An Awesometastic Story Collection

288p. illus. index. Little, Brown. Mar. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780316507813.
Gr 4–6—This collection is the result of a scheme facilitated by teacher and children's book advocate Sharp. He recruited 44 children's book creators—from Sherman Alexie to Javaka Steptoe to Victoria Jamieson—to compose and respond to one another's story prompts. Featuring work from a wide array of contributors, this volume includes stories, poetry, illustrations, and comics dealing with an incredible variety of subject matter, from Laurie Keller's humorous cartoon about anthropomorphic hats to Andrea Davis Pinkney's moving poem about Jackie Robinson. The authors and illustrators have been selected with care, coming from many different cultural backgrounds and representing an assortment of genres and creative styles. Although the variety of responses to the prompts causes the collection to feel at times a bit uneven, the mixed bag approach allows readers to have a peek into the creative processes of some of their favorite book creators and to understand that young people, too, have the power to tell a story. The second portion of the book invites readers to do just that. Each of the creators has provided an additional unanswered prompt for readers to explore their creativity and storytelling abilities. Back matter includes brief biographies of the contributors.
VERDICT Packed with ideas and inspiration, this volume provides fodder for the imagination of those participating in storytelling projects, whether on their own or in a classroom or library program.

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