About this project
"Monet and the Waterlily Friends" is a picture book that introduces readers to the colorful world of art.
After teaching preschool art for three years, I was surprised to find the lack of picture books about artists. They are out there, but I felt that they were either too complicated or too academic.
I decided to design a book that would be closer to an art class experience.
The book is 11x8.5", approx 60 pages, perfect binding, full color.
There are three sections to the book:
The first section is intended for preschoolers (ages 1-5). The story is a fictional story about Monet having artist block; he has no idea what to paint. While he visits his garden for ideas, he meets friends and finds inspiration along the way. The story is in a graphic novel form without words-- designed specifically for non-readers to also enjoy.
The second section is designed for preschoolers to read with a parent/teacher or on their own if they are starting to read. The section is built like a mini art history lesson. This section includes a simple biography of Monet and some key notes about Impressionism.
The third section was created with parents and teachers in mind. This section contains a collection of projects and activities that I have done with my students. There are projects that could either be done individually with a child or with a group. These activities have been designed to be engaging, aesthetically pleasing, and affordable.
WHO IS CLAUDE MONET
Claude Monet (1840-1926) was a French painter. In a time where realistic, polished paintings were popular, Monet's style was characterized by a spontaneous, suggestive quality. Critics at the time would ridicule Monet's work as looking "unfinished" and "amateur".
Monet's painting, "Impression Sunrise", coined the term "Impressionism"-- an artistic movement that challenged the conservative standards of art at the time.
While Monet's younger years were spent as a starving artist, he would eventually become a lucrative artist for the very style he had originally been rejected for.
His most recognizable work is the water lily series-- which would be a subject that he would work on for the last 20 years of his life.
For more info, visit this video!
WHY ART FOR PRESCHOOLERS
As our future becomes increasingly uncertain, there will be a greater demand for flexible, creative thinking. A practical way to grow this skill in children is to give them art.
Art is a safe space where you can experiment with multiple solutions to a problem. Particularly in young children, it boosts confidence, motor skills, and communication skills.
Teaching art and art history is also important to young students, because you can visually see the multitude of ways to express an idea or to find a solution. Monet is a fantastic artist to discover since he is the pioneer of the Impressionism movement. His style is distinct and significant in visual culture.
This book has been a project to bring more sources of art into the developing stage of young students, particularly in preschoolers.
I am a graphic designer and illustrator. By a surprise turn of events, I became a preschool art teacher and taught there for three years. My students ranged from ages 1-5, with about 150 per school year. The early education center was unique in that in addition to an academic curriculum, they also staffed a full time art teacher, music teacher, and Spanish teacher.
During my time at preschool, I also did additional coursework and workshops in early education and creative studies.
In the summer of 2013, I attended IDC (Interactive Design and Children) hosted by Parsons School of Design and Sesame Street Workshop in NYC. I was in the midst of debating if I should go into graduate studies for early education and design... but during the conference, I stumbled upon a library exhibit at the NY Public Library. The exhibit was titled, "The ABC of it: Why Children's Books Matter". As I walked in, I serendipitously joined a exhibit tour by one of the docents.
I was completely moved and inspired. Instead of pursuing a formal masters degree, I decided to take everything that I knew about design and use it to help more children receive art education through picture books.
This is the beginning of that project.
/ STRETCH GOALS /
My initial goal is set mostly for the production of the book. I always envisioned "Monet and the Waterlily Friends" to be a part of an artist series... and these stretch goals will enable me to create more books about more artists. I would also love to add to this art experience, so these goals will also allow me to create even more content such as extra guidebooks, activity books, video tutorials and more.
$10,000 / UPGRADE THE COVER! With this goal, we can upgrade the cover on all books to hardcover. This book is designed for younger friends, so we can use all the durability we can get!
$15,000 / UPGRADE THE BOOK! Let's make the book sparkle! This stretch goal will enable the book to get extra goods like heavier, nicer paper, extra varnishes, special finishes, etcetera.
$25,000 / HERE WE GO! BOOK TWO! This goal will enable me to begin work on book two! The second artist will be announced if this goal is reached! Everyone who has pledged will receive a PDF of an exclusive first look into book two.
**As a thank you, everyone who has pledged to receive a book ($+20) will also receive a bonus surprise added to their package!
$30,000 / LET'S GO, BOOK THREE! Let's make a series! Artist will be announced with this goal. Everyone who has pledged will receive a PDF of an exclusive first look into book three.
As a thank you, everyone who has pledged to receive a book ($+20) will also receive a second bonus surprise added to their package!
Risks and challenges
I would like this to be the best book and series it can be. I am currently researching for different ways to produce the book and the tier gifts. The challenge will be to find something within the budget at the highest quality. I am looking forward to the challenge of producing the deliverables.
Depending with the success of this kickstarter, I would like to use a shipment fulfillment company (such as amazon or amplify), but I am also prepared to personally ship if necessary.
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