Books to inspire young creatives

Do you have a pint-sized writer, designer, filmmaker, musician, artist or all-round imaginative powerhouse in your life? Here are some great books that celebrate young creatives.

And don’t forget to browse our full list of suggested books to inspire young creatives.



The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

Vashti is disconsolate after an art class, feeling that she can’t draw, but when her teacher proposes she make just one mark on her paper, a world of creation opens. Her teacher frames her dot and Vashti is away! She takes the simple dot and runs with it, turning it into a large collection of dot-related artworks. At her exhibition opening a young boy wistfully declares himself unable to draw, and Vashti passes on her teacher’s encouragement and advice. For ages 3 and up.

Author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds often addresses inspiration and creativity in his work, and his young characters always find the agency to act. You could also check out his wonderful picture books Ish and Say Something.

Other recommendations:



How to Make a Movie in Twelve Days by Fiona Hardy

Hayley Whelan is eleven years old and these school holidays she’s about to film her directorial debut – the product of a year of planning, writing and story-boarding. Raised on a diet of quality cinema, courtesy of her film buff dad, Hayley has gathered together a crack team of friends/primary school film professionals to bring her horror film Rosebud to life. The opportunity is bittersweet; Hayley’s late Grandma was her biggest supporter and was supposed to play a key acting role.

Everything that happens on the Rosebud set is true to filmmaking life; there’s elaborate costumes, action scenes, location scouting, actors that need emotional support, highly technical shots, editing and more. How to Make a Movie in Twelve Days is funny, sweet and a great source of inspiration for budding filmmakers. For ages 10 and up.

Another recommendation:



Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Eucalyptus Middle School student Callie loves the theater, but she prefers to be behind the scenes as a set designer, rather than under the spotlight. When the school’s next musical production is announced as Moon Over Mississippi, Callie brims over with dramatic set pieces and prop ideas. As auditions are held and rehearsals begin, it becomes apparent that the drama off-stage equals what’s happening on-stage!

The production budget doesn’t match Callie’s grand visions, ticket sales lag, Callie harbours multiple confusing crushes and it’s impossible to tell who likes who. This is a thoughtful and sweet look into how the performing arts can be a haven and inclusive space for a diverse group of young teens. For ages 10 and up.

Other recommendations:



Limelight by Solli Raphael

For the ultimate in writerly inspiration, look no further than thirteen-year-old National Australian Poetry Slam Champion, Solli Raphael, who beat out an adult field when he was just twelve! Limelight is Raphael’s debut book, an uncategorisable combination of original poetry, the story of how he started writing, an informative guide to different forms of poetry, and essential tips for writing and performing. Limelight is the perfect tool to help keen young writers develop their interest. For ages 10 and up.

Other recommendations:



Melody Trumpet by Gabrielle Tozer

Poor Melody Trumpet is the daughter of a famed opera star and conductor, but instead of being a musical genius, she can’t play a note or hold a tune. Her panicked parents (a.k.a. the stage parents from hell) hide her away at the Battyville Elite School for Musically Gifted Children and enlist the secret tuition of Mr Pizzicato, who once trained a chicken to sing opera. When Melody is programmed to open her school’s gala performance – in front of royalty, no less – help comes in the form of a supportive new set of friends who help Melody find her talent for songwriting.

This is such a heartwarming read for any young person who feels squashed by expectations, from themselves or others. For ages 7 and up.

Other recommendations:

  • Ella Fitzgerald by Isabel Sanchez Vegara & Barbara Alca (for ages 4 and up)

  • Guitar Genius by Kim Tomsic & Brett Helquist (for ages 6 and up)



Vivienne Westwood by Isabel Sanchez Vegara & Laura Callaghan

There’s really no one quite like Vivienne Westwood, and in this addition to the best-selling Little People, Big Dreams series, young readers can follow little Vivienne from her working class English roots through her development as an artist, teacher, jeweller, punk collaborator and climate change activist. Adults and kids alike will enjoy reliving the punk era, and thinking about how varied and long a talented designer’s career can be.

Illustrated in the brightest of palettes, this is a great visual introduction to Westwood’s world, and offers encouragement to mini-fashionistas to find their own unique style, attitude and philosophy. For ages 4 and up.

Other recommendations:

Leanne Hall is a children’s and YA specialist at Readings Kids. She also writes books for children and young adults.

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How to Make a Movie in Twelve Days

How to Make a Movie in Twelve Days

Fiona Hardy

$16.99Buy now

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