This post originally appeared on Epic Eighteen
I’m happy to write about how educators can use my debut picture book, SCARLET’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH, to enhance their lessons. There are three themes that will resonate most in the classroom or library: perfection, creativity, and imagination. SCARLET’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH tells the story of Scarlet, who paints perfect pictures with a magic paintbrush, until the brush disappears, and her own creativity must emerge. Teachers and librarians can discuss what it means to search for perfection, and how children don’t need to be perfect in school or in life. Educators can also plan projects based around finding your own creativity. In the story, Scarlet tries to use different handmade brushes and painting methods. Art teachers could experiment with painting techniques as Scarlet did. Perhaps students will be inspired to paint their own masterpieces just like Scarlet. Finally, the book lends itself to discussions about imagination. This book was inspired by my curiosity about the French Impressionists, particularly Monet. Standing in front of a Monet painting, I asked, “What if I had a magic paintbrush and could paint like Monet?” Students can ask their own “what if” questions. They can use their imaginations to wonder what they would do with a magic paintbrush, a magic pen, a magic pencil, or anything else magical. And they can imagine a story they might want to write based on those ideas. I hope educators will enjoy reading my debut picture book and designing lessons and projects surrounding themes of perfection, creativity, and imagination. And I would be happy if SCARLET’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH adds a bit of magic to their classrooms and libraries!