So often, permission to create is denied to us through a variety of societal restraints as well as self imposed restrictions of judgements and insecurities. To create is a right you are born to fulfill. And what better way to begin creating than in an unlined journal. Write your thoughts and add your sketches. You deserve the right to find your voice.
Creating you own reality is an especially appealing idea to me right now, especially when so many realities around us are a carcophany of screenshots I much prefer to deleate. So here is a sample of my alternate universe!
Here’s a close up of one of my screenshots with my book “Fantasy Animals.”
What Binge readers my stuffed animals are! And this is what happens if you let them read “Fantasy Animals” without adult supervision. Why don’t you check it out here? www.amazon.com/dp/B01LYJAGLK. These guys, up all night, acting out the parts.
Jump on in. Find an alternate universe in the world of imagination and parable!
And for another alternate universe try shopping on my new website HERE. You never know what the world of imagination can bring you!
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?
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
Story by Elahe Izadi, September 6, The Washington Post
This beloved children’s author didn’t want a funeral. She said read to a child instead. – The Washington Post
Anna Dewdney, the best-selling children’s author and illustrator behind the popular “Llama Llama” series, once wrote that “empathy is as important as literacy.”
“When we read with a child, we are doing so much more than teaching him to read or instilling in her a love of language,” Dewdney wrote for the Wall Street Journal in 2013.
This is the legacy left by Dewdney, who died Saturday at her Vermont home after a 15-month battle with brain cancer. She was 50.
Dewdney illustrated several successful children’s books in the 1990s. Her 2005 book “Llama Llama Red Pajama,” about the anxiety of bedtime and separation, began a series that frequented the New York Times Best Sellers lists.
Her obituary contains many of the key details of her life, including how she worked as a waitress and rural mail carrier before making it big as a full-time author. But this is how it
concluded: “She requested that in lieu of a funeral service that people read to a child instead.”
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Dewdney wrote more than 10 Baby Llama books, and Netflix is producing a “Llama Llama” series due in 2017, according to her obituary.
“I did my books about llamas because I love the sound to the word ‘llama.’ But they’re just so funny,” she told The Washington Post’s Ron Charles in 2015. “They have such wonderful expressive faces. They’re fuzzy and goofy, and they’re just fun to look at.”
The author and illustrator was also an outspoken advocate for children’s literacy. In the WSJ piece, Dewdney wrote about how reading to children does more than teaching them to love books:
The author had encouraged adults to have fun while reading by using funny voices and also to ask about the plot, talk about how the story makes them feel and ask children whether they can relate to the plot.
“Be human, loving, and strong, and that will allow the children in your care to be human, loving, and strong,” she wrote. “Perhaps, the next time those children feel like hitting or pinching someone, they’ll hold off and ask for a hug from you instead.”
Elahe Izadi is a pop culture writer for The Washington Post.
SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT FANTASY ANIMALS BY JANIS KIRSTEIN:
By Cynthia Johnson on July 28, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This absolutely delightful children’s book by author and artist Janis Kirstein had me laughing in enjoyment as I read it. I can’t wait to read it to my granddaughter, who loves animals. It is a story of two delightful fantasy animals who are joined at the hip and must learn to get along with each other’s quirks and craziness, but who realize that they really do love each other. I was charmed by the artwork from this author who is also an award-winning artist. I recommend it highly!
5.0 out of 5 starsSuch a terrific book!
By Betsy on August 6, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
The artwork (and story behind it) are fantastic in this book, and the plot is both hilarious and deeply thoughtful. I can see it being used in classrooms in so many ways with so many different subjects. The vocabulary is excellent and will have an appeal to several teachers I know, from 1st through 5th grade. In addition, I can see it used in middle and high school art, Spanish, and sociology classes. I am so glad Jan has marked this as “Book One.” Can’t WAIT for the next one.
5.0 out of 5 starsso happy for you and what a blessing you are to …
By Cindy Fox on July 28, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
Congratulations Janis on your first book, so happy for you and what a blessing you are to the World!