I’m not going to write about my own picturebook experiences tonight. Instead, I’m going to let a soon-to-be alumna of the University of Florida’s Masters in Art Education program do the work for me.
Kaitlin Gallagher Pozzo is lives in the Minneapolis, Minnesota metropolitan area where she teaches art and Italian to homeschooled toddlers and preschoolers and is a Curiosity Center volunteer at the Minnesota Children’s Museum. For her capstone project, she examined various picturebooks about art, created and tested related lesson plans with her 3-year old daughter and a few of her homeschool tutees. The boys moved away before the study was over so some of their interactions took place on Skype which added another space for research and experimentation.
Kaitlin developed a website to house her research findings and to serve as a resource for homeschoolers and early childhood educators. The site is full of great photos of her daughter at work/play, book recommendations and related lesson plans for projects that go beyond crayons and coloring pages. The books are specifically about art, though Kaitlin also shares my understanding and passion for picturebooks that are art objects and recognition that, all too often, the two don’t overlap. In other words, picturebooks about art and artists are surprisingly not always artful.
Please check out Kaitlin’s work and recommend it to your friends, fellow educators, and parents of young children. She plans to expand it after graduation and would love to hear from readers with feedback and recommendations for new books to explore.