The Imagination Key

Gold Mom’s Choice Award
Book of the Year Award Creative Child Magazine
Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention

Zoom Into Books Author
Beautiful story and illustrations to spark the imaginations for young people of all ages. A wonderful book that will engage the whole family and create memories for years to come.


Gold Mom's Choice Award
Book of the Year Award Creative Child Magazine
Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention

“The Imagination Key is beautifully written and illustrated. Together, the words and images remind us how our imagination can transport us to new places, allow us to experience grand adventures, and help us see challenges and opportunities in exciting new ways. My kids love reading it at bedtime and "imaginating" (their favorite word) all the wild adventures they will have in their dreams.” —Barbara Miller Gather, Ph.D. Professor of Communications, Elon University

The Imagination Key is such a sweet and beautifully illustrated story! As a life-long Preschool director, I have had similar conversations with children about their imagination. This book definitely has a place in every preschool library.” —Jeannine Pignotti, Director, Oakdale Preschool, Los Angeles CA

“What a book for our times! To ignite and engage every child's sparkling imagination is at the core of a happy heart, joyful mind and creative learning. As a career educator, it is my belief that this is learning’s sweet spot for exploration and optimism. This is our critical KEY.” —Rebecca Peery, M.A., Elementary Educator and Administrator


Sarah Whalen





Other Details

Illustrated by Elena Christofides


8.5 x 8.5

Year Published


1 review for The Imagination Key

  1. Emily-Jane Hills Orford

    Reviewed By Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite

    Where is your imagination? And what does it do? How can you make your imagination work for you? Well, simply put, your imagination is in your heart and head as it is the key that opens up the world of imaginary places, events, activities and so much more. Why bother? Because imagination is what makes all things possible, real and surreal. It takes you to worlds unknown, created only by you and for you. Imagination creates a safe place where you can do whatever you want and not have to worry about who sees you, who approves of what you’re doing, and who might want to take it away from you. Imagination is yours and yours alone, so use it well and often.

    Sarah Whalen’s picture book story, The Imagination Key, is a beautifully illustrated book that addresses the simple concept of one’s imagination. The story begins with questions children might ask: “What is your imagination? And where oh where does it live?” The author then leads the young reader through some silly possibilities of where your imagination might be like in your fingers or between your toes. Young readers will certainly chuckle at that and possibly want to check their fingers and toes just like the children in the illustration. Once the author explains that imagination is in your heart and head, she then takes young readers into a realm of imaginative possibilities: all you have to do is close your eyes and imagine the world of your dreams and then anything is possible, as long as you, and only you, make it up. The author concludes by reaffirming the location of the key to your imagination: “The key is in your head and heart. That’s where it will always stay.” And, the final page is left for the young reader to draw their own picture of something they imagined: “Now it’s time to unlock your imagination!” This is a clever and charming little book, beautifully illustrated. It would definitely appeal to young readers and help them understand and appreciate the gift of their own unique imagination.

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About the Author

Zoom Into Books Author

Sarah Whalen is the award winning Executive Producer of over 1,000 hours of documentary television including Emmy winning Deadliest Catch, Bering Sea Gold, Jay Leno’s Garage, and Netflix’s The Confession Tapes among others. Prior to her career in television, Sarah adapted and directed literature for the stage including classics from Ernest Hemingway and John Cheever as well as numerous contemporary authors. Sarah also served as an acting coach and behind-the-scenes documentarian for children’s feature films including Like Mike and When Zachary Beaver Came to Town. Sarah has a master’s degree in Performance and Media studies from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After residing in Los Angeles for the past 20 years, Sarah now lives happily in Wilmington, NC with her husband, Mark and two amazing children, Juliet and Bryce. The Imagination Key is Sarah’s first children’s book… but certainly not the last!