Michelle Korenfeld, “Creative Children Like the Animals of the World”

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The front and back cover of the book is based on the painting The Perfect Day. The painting illustrates the story “Honey – The Bee who Wanted to Fly”. It’s about a bee that ever since she was a larva dreamed of flying out of the nest and discovering the world. It symbolizes the young reader that is on a journey discovering his or her inner world and the world of nature through the book.

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The Animals of the World collage presents excerpts of the book’s paintings. It is preceded by the story “My Uncle Angel” whose purpose is to give the readers a feel of what nature means. In the center of the collage there is a child who is like a butterfly: “Maybe in reality I am merely a child. But in my imagination I can wander wild”. The reader is invited to draw and write freely next to the collage illustrating his or her most beloved animal. The children are invited to write and draw all through the book, relating emotionally to the animals of the world. Having gone through such a journey, they realize why man must not interfere in nature, by the end of the book.

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Poetry, painting and nature interrelate to inspire the reader’s creativity. The poem “Secret Friendship” is illustrated by the acrylic painting. It’s about how man should feel more humble in regards to nature, and about broadening the horizons. It helps the child to care for nature. Scientific facts about the birds deepen the feeling of awe for nature. In the next page the child is invited to draw and write about his or her secret friend.

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The poem and paintings about the peacock bring about the issue of its feather’s symmetry. This section elaborates on this interdisciplinary subject from the points of view of arts, nature and science, in order to inspire creative thinking. The children are then invited to experiment symmetry artistically by taking a sheet of paper, laying some patches of color on it and folding it into two identical parts. They also discover other sorts of symmetry: translational symmetry and reflection symmetry. All this is presented by excerpts of the peacock’s coloring page and oil painting.

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I am inspired by the peacock’s proud walk manifesting its true colors. The book’s purpose is to give the child confidence in manifesting his or her inner, creative, unique world. There are no pigments of colors in the peacock’s feather. Tiny regular structures disperse light and create a prism effect. The white peacock’s feathers do not have those structures, either. It reflects white light as a whole. Thus, the white peacock symbolizes harmony and purity of heart, for me.

 


 
Michelle Korenfeld (Tel Aviv, Israel)
raisingcreativethinkers.com/

Creative Children Like the Animals of the World
2014
printed book of acrilic and oil paintings and drawings
149 pages
Dimensions open: H: 27.94 cm, W: 43 cm, D: 2 cm
Dimensions closed: H: 27.94 cm, W: 21.59 cm, D: 1 cm

I am a painter, poet, storyteller, and early childhood educator with a passion for nature and nurturing creativity and curiosity in children’s hearts and minds. I have more than twenty years’ experience introducing animals, art, and writing to young people in diverse settings, including public schools, museums, and institutes for gifted children. Over the years, I have developed my own interdisciplinary method of fostering creative thinking and appreciation for nature.

Creative Children like the Animals of the World is the unique product of my research, childhood development work, and collaboration with my two daughters, who teach me lessons on creative thinking every single day. I believe much of children’s negative behavior derives from stifled or ignored creativity, and I hope this book provides them an opportunity to express their inner genius, which will help pave their way to a fulfilling and happy life.
The book is packed with paintings, drawings, poems, and stories—but it isn’t finished yet! Now it’s the reader’s turn to fill in his or her own imaginative ideas and create a personal, one-of-a-kind book that reflects each child’s own unique personality. It’s imperative for the next generation of children to learn the responsibility that comes with living on such a vibrant, beautiful, and diverse planet.

Each poem, story and painting in Creative Children Like the Animals of the World is based on scientific research. I believe that is the way to create a painting that powerfully present the beauty of nature and touches the viewer’s souls. What is science, if not discovering nature? What is art if not discovering the nature of our world and the nature of ourselves? I think that when a child connects to nature deeply, he or she is given the key to connect with him or herself. Thus, by the book I wish to connect children to nature and to inspire their unique personal creativity to come to life.

Readers will meet two tiresome caterpillar brothers, who argue all day and night, and only by transforming into butterflies do they learn to cherish their time together. They’ll experience a Native American culture and identify with people who connect their bodies and souls to nature. Along the way the young collaborators will add original drawings, writings, and ideas in response to what is already on the page.

Readers will discover interesting subjects that arise from the art, such as: Which animal can see more than seven colors in the rainbow?, complementing colors, additive and subtractive primaries, animals colors: courting, camouflage and warning, communication among animals, the senses, diversity in nature, and so much more…

Ultimately, Creative Children like the Animals of the World is a journey toward broader horizons, where creative thinking, self-confidence, and open-mindedness pave the road for an innovative and fulfilling future. Its purpose is to open the heart of children to the art of creative thinking and to the world of art. My vision is a creativity inspiring installation that displays paintings and presents digitally and artistically the nature and science issues that arise from the book.



2015-winner