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Idea Jar

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  428 ratings  ·  90 reviews
From the author of Warning: Do Not Open This Book comes a lively story about a teacher’s special jar where her students keep their story ideas—but watch out when those ideas go on the loose!

The idea jar is where students keep their ideas—anything from a Viking to a space robot to a giant dragon. These ideas can be combined to make new exciting stories. But watch out when t
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  428 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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La Coccinelle
I didn't like this. Aside from the statement that there are no bad story ideas (which is demonstrably false), it's too chaotic and cluttered. Yes, an idea jar can be helpful. But there's also knowing when to stop adding ingredients so you don't spoil your recipe. This book seems to take the position that more is better, leading to a "story" about a viking, a space robot, a dragon, and a horseless cowgirl. I think it's important to be able to take one idea and really polish it... rather than just ...more
Homewood Public Library
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A cute book full of inspiration for children of all ages. Read this on a plane ride to spark a story conversation or read the book in class to inspire students' creative writing. The instructions and story are easy to follow. The illustrations are whimsical and fun. ...more
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've never understood fellow writers who say they're suffering from writer's block. There's always a story about Viking Robots fighting dragons lead by horseless cowboys. Adam Lehrhaupt's book is the best argument against anyone claiming that there aren't stories left to tell. There's always a story left to tell, although for the record I'm still waiting to hear the one about the blue monster with a red triangle for a nose. ...more
Jodi McKay
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a fun, creative book that definitely sparks the imagination. Idea Jar is a great tool to use in teaching creative writing or to encourage kids to explore their ideas. The colorful illustrations and action packed pages really add to the humor of the story, plus there's a viking and everyone knows stories are better with vikings. ...more
Sara Pourhassani
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
love it!
Nov 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those Looking for Picture-Books About Ideas, Creativity & the Storytelling Process
Ideas are wonderful things, but if you don't keep them active by giving them a story, they can be dangerous! So one classroom discovers when their teacher's Idea Jar is knocked over, and all the residents go rampaging through the classroom. Fortunately, with some quick thinking and some storytelling skills, the children manage to work the ideas into one big narrative...

Adam Lahrhaupt, whose recent picture-books, from This Is a Good Story to Wordplay , seem aimed at encouraging children to
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love love love this! What great inspiration for writers. Adam Lehrhaupt and Deb Pilutti created something special. Will be a well loved title for launching writers workshop with craft lessons for young writers as well as lessons on creativity, imagination and a whole lot of fun!
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I know I shouldn’t like the story this much, but I do. Part of me wants to take it to my high school writing club and see what the kids to do with it.
Jul 17, 2018 marked it as finn-read
All questions answered by my 4 year old

Do you like this book?
Yeah! Because it has dragons and robots and Viking with funny hats!

What's your favorite part of the book?
When the girl was on the dragon and when the dragon picked the robot up! The robot was so mad!

What do you think of the cover?
I like the words and the robot and dragon

Do you want me to read it again?

Idea Jar is such a great book about using imagination. I'm always down for a good book about using imagination, and this one is one
It's a "must read" and "must use" with young readers and writers, a clever way to show how random topics drawn from a jar can help create a story. The idea jar holds cartoon-like creatures that act in hilarious ways and the words are featured in word balloons. ...more
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good ideas on writing.
Perfect choice to read to children to show them how an idea becomes a story. Every story begins with an idea and every idea begins inside the imagination of a person.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every creative writing teacher needs this to share with their students!
This could be used as a mentor text before a writing lesson on generating ideas. It's creative, humorous and attractive. I'm sure my students are going to like this book. ...more
Writing mentor text: How to Brainstorm ideas
Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it
A good book for teachers talking about writing ideas.
Carol  V
A funny schoolroom story, in which the teacher has an idea jar for students to drop in pieces of paper with story starter ideas. But the jar begins to tip & the ideas come out, creating the start of their own chaotic stories. Eventually, the ideas are returned to the jar, & the classroom is once again peaceful. This could be a great idea for a writing prompt in the classroom for K - 4th graders. How would be a better idea for the teacher to start students' writing stories with these prompts? ...more
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is so fun and useful for teaching children to write and come up with topics and ideas to do it. The author comes up with fantastic ideas in a jar for kids to creatively write about. They have some clinkers in the jar but the combinations of ideas to make stories energizes kids and writers to come up with stories good and bad. Will work with core curriculum in elementary school and creative writing.
Love this, especially for teaching the youngest set about writing. Sometimes kids are intimidated by it, or think it’s difficult or they have to write about the “right” thing. There are no bad story ideas, just sometimes poorly executed ones (I’m looking at you Twilight). I can definitely see using this in the future when teaching writing.
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great way to show kids that ideas and stories can come from anywhere and encourage imagination. Lovely and exciting artwork. This would be great for use within the classroom - perhaps introducing an idea jar of their own!
Katherine King
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it
The teacher’s idea jar is a place to help students inspire and create stories. You can put any idea in the idea jar—a space robot, a giant dragon, anything! The idea jar helps the students write, draw, and talk about whatever stories they come up with. When we don’t put our ideas into words or pictures, they get messy and lost. This book teaches readers to take one idea and connect it with others to create your own story.

The last page of the book shows a new idea jar filled wit
Ben Truong
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Idea Jar is a children's picture book written by Adam Lehrhaupt and illustrated by Deb Pilutti. It is a lively story about a teacher's special jar where students keep their story ideas.

Lehrhaupt's text is rather simplistic and straightforward. It centers on a jar in a classroom, where the students in the class would keep their ideas for stories and when the jar is full they would pull the ideas out to form a new story. Pilutti's illustrations are drawn rather well, albeit a tad jejune, but appro
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
This one is interesting. It teaches aspiring writers to consider their ideas as things that need attention otherwise they'll get out of control! I like how it takes the concept of your imagination and characterizes it in the form of a dragon, a viking, etc. This actually made me think of when I read Elizabeth Gilbert's BIG MAGIC and how she discusses the personification of your ideas; that if you don't tend to them, they will leave you and leap into someone else's imagination! That being said, s ...more
Donna Mork
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A teacher keeps an idea jar in her room so the kids can draw an idea out and write or draw a story about it. A viking wants to be part of a story but keeps getting excluded. He accidentally knocks over the jar and all the ideas are out. The kids have to write a story with all of the ideas in on big story quickly before things get out of hand. They liked it so much that they decide from now on they will write stories with multiple ideas in it.
I have always loved having an idea jar, and when I say that, I think about the classroom, but really for the home as well. A place to store notes of ideas that one day you may want to take further. I need to bring this idea to my classes next year, and use this book to help introduce the concept. I loved how the author and illustrator brought these ideas to life and had some fun with the viking. I need to add this book to my collection.
Kat Harrison
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Everyone needs an IDEA JAR. Mine is just mental, but I love that this one is a physical object that holds inspirations for stories. Lehrhaupt's text is simple yet resounding, and Pilutti's illustration breathe life into it and helps to bring it full circle. I especially loved how they emphasized the different forms that stories can take, which is so true. And yes, everything is better with vikings. Always. ...more
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
An unseen teacher has an idea jar in her classroom, it is filled with slips of paper with story ideas on them. The children make up stories using the ideas, but one idea (The Viking) keeps demanding to be in all the stories, then all the ideas escape from the jar. Mayhem ensues. This is a fun book that may inspire young children to start writing.
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books-e
Fabulous simple story that talks about getting creative and getting ideas out somehow. It makes me want to write anything again, though at the same time I still feel i have writers block.
It was a cute story and I love the illustrations and how the ideas from the idea come to life and cause trouble. Very cute story. I would absolutely recommend it to others.
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book about the writing idea jar is simple and enjoyable. The message of anything being a possibility for writing is nicely layered into the book. I think this ought to be read in the primary classroom in schools across the country. It fits well within the workshop model of teaching writing. Good choice for Lehrhaupt.
Jun 16, 2022 rated it liked it
This book is about a teacher who has an "Idea Jar" on his desk. Students share their ideas and the teacher uses the jar as a way for kids to learn about storytelling and imagination. The different ideas comes together in a comical way and form a story. Great picture book for any educator and teaching kids about writing and stories. ...more
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Adam Lehrhaupt is the award-winning author of Warning: Do Not Open This Book!, Please: Open This Book!, Chicken in Space (A six book series: Book 2 Chicken in School lands June 20, 2017), I Will Not Eat You and the upcoming I Don't Draw, I Color (March 21, 2016), Wordplay (July 2017), Idea Jar (Fall 2017), and This is a Good Story (Spring, 2018). He has traveled to six continents, performed on Bro ...more

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