GET READY FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF ADVERTISING CREATIVES. Frustrated by the lack of backyard games while observing her children, Marlene Byrne, founder and president of Niles, Ill.-based Celtic Marketing, launched the Project Play children's book series last fall. “Some of the most creative problem-solvers I've worked with credit their ability to think outside the box to childhood experiences,” she said. “Without the ability to generate ideas and feel a sense to do so, the advertising industry will not thrive.” Titles such as “Treasure Hunt,” “Follow the Leader” and “Just a Baseball Game” teach children to enjoy the freedom of outdoor playtime while enhancing creative development. “Children today seem caught up in electronic models of play and after-school activities,” Byrne said. “Project Play [encourages] children to invent their own games and negotiate their own sets of rules.” Each hardcover highlights a different backyard game, featuring vivid illustrations, rhyming text and fictional characters based on Byrne's Chicago hometown neighborhood of Edgebrook. The Web site (www.projectplaybooks.com) also features childhood obesity statistics, activity trends and advice for parents on how to structure activities. A fourth title, “Kick the Can,” is planned for release later this year.