I have a serious problem. I love to buy books like I Like to Write / I Like to Draw by The Small Object and then, overwhelmed by the creativity and charm of the book itself, along with the frightening permanence of what I am supposed to put on the page, I never, ever make use of the amazing, gorgeous, fantastic book in my hands. But, I have a two-fold strategy for I Like to Write / I Like to Draw: I am going to coax myself into actually using this brilliant book by telling myself that I can use these prompts with my students during the 90 minutes a day each grade spends with me AND I can also nudge myself into using it as a way to fulfill my goal of drawing every Saturday and sharing it on my new Instagram account where I am posting every day about a different book that I read or am reading.
So, why do I love I Like to Write / I Like to Draw? Writing and drawing in one book, for starters. For elementary school kids, and myself as well, I find that these two things go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Sarah Neuberger, the multifaceted creative mind behind this book, is an illustrator, designer, wedding cake topper maker (see below) and stamp maker. In 2009 she started working with Chronicle Books on en ever-gorwing collection of gift and paper products that are worth checking out. For I Like to Write / I Like to Draw, Neuberger, devised categories for each half. In I Like to Draw, these include, Picture This, Imagine That, Create Here, Nature Observations, Personal Perspective, Dream Big and Pattern Play. Sometimes a sentence or two will appear at the bottom of the page, giving artists further ideas. A Complete the Scene page with golden swirls on it invites readers to "Draw more golden clouds and imagine how it would feel to walk through them." Enjoying this book is definitely an immersive experience!
The writing portion is happily, wonderfully visual, with a sketch or two on every page. The nice thing about I Like to Write is the nice combination of story writing and other writing exercises. One page with two word bubbles invites writers to create a conversation. Another invites writers to pretend that they work at a paint company and are charged with coming up with the names of twelve different swatches on the page, with the instructions to use two words per name. "A Taste Bud's Story" includes a reproduction of a "guest check" that a waitperson uses in to take orders and invites writers to write down items from a favorite mean and what made it so memorable on the check. There are the backs of postcards with writing prompts, a page of mostly blank fortunes from fortune cookies, rebus puzzles as story prompts, free associations with words like, "whistle, tree, magnetic, chair," and map the connection prompts with words like "notebook" and "library." There are so many more super cool prompts I want to share here, but really, just go out and buy this book. Buy two - one for yourself and one to give to a creatively minded kid in your life!