It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like….


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This Holiday Season!

 

 

Here are some happy readers of my new book “Fantasy Animals.” To the left is Lucy Steilberg and Lucy Craig Steilberg from my church in Louisville, KY.  To the right is my mother,  Myrl Kirstein, who is going to be 91 years old in December and lives in Birmingham Alabama.

My mother is almost totally blind and has bravely decided to undergo eye surgery to correct her glaucoma. Please send prayers her way, as her surgery will be  December 6. Hopefully, she will be able to see much better after her surgery, which would be fitting for the woman who is responsible for teaching me to read.

Long Live Literacy!!

 

To purchase my book or see these additional products, click here

 

 

This little story provides an example of two very different animals learning to live together, work together and cooperate. What better lesson and example could you ask for in today’s world of conflict?

 

 

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Here is an excerpt from my book “Fantasy Animals.”

The first of these two most unique animals was an anteater named Vortex. His name came from the noise he would make as his two foot tongue  would lick up and gather multitudes of ants and stuff them into his long protruding proboscis. With loud, snorking and licking noises he would bring all ants anywhere into his wrinkly, quivering mouth.  Animals for miles around could hear the great vacuum of his enormous ingestions as he would begin laboring every morning right on the dot of 6:00 a.m.

“SNORK, SNORK, SNOOOOOOOOOORK,

SNORK!”

Vortex vacuumed up all the ants for miles around from the surrounding earthen ground using his tireless 24” tongue. While he did this, he also was very careful to keep very exacting accounts of precisely how many ants he devoured at any given time.

And while you might think his licking and snorking characteristics are what identified Vortex as unusual, these qualities were not, in fact, what put Vortex and his unlikely friend on the map, so to speak.

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At the same time that Vortex was born into this beautiful jungle forest, his dear companion and constant comrade, the courageous lion was born. She knew she was a queen from the day she was born and quickly became one of the fastest and fiercest animals in the entire jungle. She was known simply as Scoop.

Why Scoop, you say? Well, it was said by all the animals in her rainforest community, that she was so much faster than her prey, that she would merely spring and scoop, and her prey was already swallowed and digested.

Though lions generally populate the continent of Africa, Scoop somehow managed to arrive in the abundant rainforests of Peru in South America, along with her friend and constant companion Vortex.

So why were  these two animals so unique? You may ask. Well, here is the story I have been told by those who actually know and lived with Scoop and Vortex all the many years of their lives.

You see, these two animals were born as one. They were attached at the shoulder and torso, so that wherever one went, the other must go accordingly. No one knows why this unusual birth occurred, but animals and people from the region of Balta with firsthand experience declare that in fact, this pair was real and lived for many years in the Amazon jungle sometimes in harmony, sometimes not…

 

Get the book and find out what happens next and how these two animals work out their seemingly unresolvable problems.  click here to go to my Amazon page.

 

 

Click here to Check out these cool books at Amazon

 

 

 

 

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrated in Our Classrooms


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Dawn Smith’s Spanish class and my Visual Art class joined together for a week long unit on creating paintings influenced by Mexican Alebrijes this week at Western Hills High School in Frankfort, Kentucky.  Painting and creative writing combined together for a learning experience in Social Studies, Spanish and Fashion Design.

To learn Global challenges of how to resolve conflicts, students had to work in groups and combine at least 2 animals from 2 different continents. They had to paint the animals, list their conflicts, how the animals could resolve those conflicts and capture these conflict resolutions in their choice of creative writing from poetry to dialogue to narrative writing. The writing portion was inspired by the book “Fantasy Animals” by Janis Kirstein, where a South American anteater and African lion are joined together and have to learn how to get along. This book was inspired by Mexican Alebrijes from Mexico, created with bright floral patterns in the 1930’s of conglomerations of various animals all in one being.

To see lesson plans for this unit,  go to:  https://kirsteinfineart.com/2016/07/27/lesson-plan-for-fantasy-animals/

To see the book written by Janis Kirstein inspired by Alebrijes,  go to: www.amazon.com/author/janiskirstein

 

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This Painting was inspired by Mexican Alebrijes, by Janis Kirstein in Mercedes Harn’s art class this summer. This class was for a teacher Inservice given by The Academy with the Kentucky Center for the Arts, combining the teaching of Social Studies, Visual Art and Spanish Language.