Creativity and Children's Literature: New Ways to Encourage Divergent Thinking

190p. appendix. bibliog. index. photos. Teacher Ideas Press/Libraries Unlimited. 2014. pap. $45. ISBN 9781610693554. LC 2014009411.
Saccardi offers a substantive approach for using children's literature to promote creative thinking. Saccardi's introduction argues for sustained nurturing of divergent thinkers in order for future society to thrive. Subsequent chapters on poetry, picture books and fiction, folklore and fantasy, and nonfiction suggest adaptable techniques for integrating literature-based activities into classrooms and programs. Chapter 5 describes a project Saccardi (a former elementary school teacher turned literacy consultant) did with fourth-grade teachers on modifying this approach for an already established curriculum. The author consistently references culturally inclusive choices available in contemporary literature for youth and incorporates methods for promoting creative thinking when discussing in-chapter recommended titles. The combination of applied pedagogy and curriculum connections makes the prose dense but rich, with references to STEM, Common Core State Standards, and supporting research offered throughout. Suggestions for the smooth integration of technology, from wikis to iPads to virtual field trips, are provided. References at the end of each chapter include strong, briefly annotated bibliographies; an appendix recommends "Useful Websites to Encourage Student Creativity."
VERDICT 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.

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