This is a favourite of mine and has always raised interest from the children I have had the pleasure of learning alongside. Choose a text that can be read without showing the pictures. The idea is to pick a book where there is a little surprise between the text illustrations connections.

  1. Put something over the cover of the book and read it without showing the pictures.
  2. Invite your child(ren) to draw or create what they think they might see if they were looking at the book.
  3. They can do this ‘creating’ after during or after the reading of the book.
  4. Once the creating has been done, compare and discuss how their ideas and the illustrator/authors ideas were similar of different.

Creating can involve making characters or settings with clay or play-dough, so they are 3 dimensional. Your child(ren) may want create a setting that they think matches the text using collage, a diorama, 2D artwork. They may want to make masks of the characters faces or  puppets based on the characters.

The real fun is watching how they interpret a text when they have to use their own imagination, not interpret another artists ideas. Watch imagination, critical and creative thinking spark with this activity.

An alternative approach is look at textless books and ask your child(ren) to add text. You can make notes of what they suggest on sticky notes and put these into the book.

Suggested texts for inspiring imagination and creative responses

Suggested books for adding innovative and imaginative text




Parent, guardian or older sibling and your child(ren)

Any reading and creating space

Books, materials to respond and create with

Minimal to maximum, depending on how brave you feel with creative responses you and your child(ren) want to engage with.