The Dot: Printable Art Show Activity

On September 15th(ish) teachers, librarians, students, and families around the globe celebrate creativity, courage, and collaboration for International Dot Day. We can’t wait! The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds made our growth mindset list, but we also love that it’s also a great picture book to show our littles the creative process and how our values affect our perception.

To help you inspire creativity in kids who think they “can’t,” we created this set of 28 FREE printable gallery picture frames to fill with your unique dots. Print them out, add crayons or paint and some artists, then make a mark and see where it takes it you!

If you’d like to share it with us, we’d love to see your Dot Day creativity on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok.


Remember to read The Dot with your Novel Effect app by 9/16 to be entered to win books, a premium membership, and a $100 gift card for art supplies!


Download the Novel Effect app for free to bring these stories to life with music and sounds that respond to your voice.

Share Ideas and Think Positively With Picture Books

The What Do You Do With…? series from Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom came to mind when looking at the calendar for read aloud inspiration this month. These beautifully illustrated, fantastically told picture books will inspire kids, and their grownups, to discover the amazing things that happen when you nurture your bright ideas, face your problems, and take bold chances.

What Do You Do With An Idea? is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. It can kickstart discussions about the ideas we have that seemed a little too big, too odd, or too difficult and inspire each of us to welcome our ideas, help them grow, and see what happens next.

The follow-ups to the award winning original focus on positive thinking when faced with challenges. What Do You Do with a Problem? to inspire you to look closely at that problem and to find out why it’s here. The final book in the series, What Do You Do With a Chance?* is the story of missed opportunities and the courage to be brave, not all the time, but at the right time.

What Do You Do with an Idea? and What Do You Do With A Problem? are both available to read aloud with a storyscape on Novel Effect, they’re highly emotive and beautifully enhance the efforts of Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom to make complex concepts accessible to young readers.

Give these book a read on National Swap Ideas Day, Sept. 10 or National Positive Thinking Day, Sept. 13. The What Do You Do With A… series includes picture books to encourage kids to embrace a growth mindset, share a creative idea, face a problem, or take a chance anytime of year!

* We haven’t yet added What Do You Do With A Chance? to the Novel Effect library. Let us know in the comments if you think it deserves a storyscape!


Download the Novel Effect app for free to bring these stories to life with music and sounds that respond to your voice.

Picture Books to Read Aloud with Grandma and Grandpa

Did you know this Sunday, September 12th is National Gradparents Day? The grandchild/grandparent relationship is a special one, reading aloud together can strengthen that bond. I learned to love reading from my mom and now, as a parent, there’s nothing I get a kick out of more than hearing her read aloud to her grandchildren and share that same enthusiasm for reading with them.

When grandparents choose to spend time with their grandchildren reading, they’re sending the message that reading is a fun way to spend time. Even better? They’re sharing experiences together they can draw on for years to come whether the books feature strong moral messages or are just plain silly.

This year, as my first-grader continues building her reading skills we’ll be celebrating Grandparents Day by having her read aloud to Nana on a video call. If you’re looking for a last minute gift, a copy of a cherished picture book with a handwritten note from their grandchildren will be treasured for years to come.

Here are some of our favorite picture books that celebrate the stories grandparents and their loved ones.

The Great and the Grand

Breathtaking illustrations combine with a simple, beautiful narrative in Benjamin Fox’s sweet, captivating story about a baby and great grandfather meeting for the first time.

Last Stop on Market Street

CJ’s weekly bus journey is transformed through the energy and encouragement of his Nana, who helps him see the beauty and fun in their routine.

Grandfather’s Journey

Alan Say’s award winning account of his family’s unique cross-cultural experience conveys the love he has for his two countries, one that he shares with his grandfather.

Thank You, Omu

A generous grandmotherly woman is rewarded by her community in Oge Mora’s debut picture book, that’s also perfect for fall.

Strega Nona’s Harvest

Tomi dePaola’s beloved ‘grandmother witch’ attempts to teach Big Anthony about gardening and the importance of order. But things don’t go quite as planned.

Rainbow Stew

The vegetables in Grandpa’s garden are just waiting to be picked in Cathryn Falwell’s tribute to the beautiful colors found in the vegetable patch.

Download the Novel Effect app for free to bring these stories to life with music and sounds that respond to your voice.

7 Great Picture Books to Teach Authenticity

Teaching children to live authentically means supporting them as they learn to listen to their conscience and respect and value others. This can be tricky for a lot of people, especially kids, when their own needs and preferences are different from the people around them.

As grown-ups, we can coach them to look beyond labels and outside appearances to be more open when meeting new friends or trying new things. As they develop the skills to understand their own needs, feelings, and preferences, they’ll become better at sharing messages of respect, love, approval, and encouragement with others. 

Reading books with positive messages about different families, backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, and languages help children to develop pride, self-worth, and confidence. Here are some of our favorite stories that empower all children to shape their own experience.

We’re All Wonders

Auggie knows he is a wonder, but he wants everybody to realize they are all wonders, too.

Not Quite Narwhal

Born deep in the ocean, Kelp is not like the other narwhals and one day, when he spies a creature on land that looks like him, he learns why.

Sparkle Boy

Young Casey loves sparkly things, just like his older sister, who does not approve until an encounter with teasing bullies helps her learn to accept and respect Casey for who he is.

You Should, You Should

Hippo’s morning starts off good, until friends say, “You should! You should!” They’ll soon find out that being yourself is what life’s about.

Be Who You Are

Encourages kids to embrace all their unique qualities.

Unicorn (and Horse)

We are sometimes unicorns. We are sometimes horses. But, it’s our differences that make us all unique.

Red: A Crayon’s Story

A blue crayon accidentally gets labelled as red, and tries to be red, but learns that he has to be true to himself – he’s blue!

Download the Novel Effect app for free to bring these stories to life with music and sounds that respond to your voice.