1. I love your elephants! Maybe we’ll try something similar with horses around here. 🙂

    ‘Cousins of Clouds’ looks truly lovely, both poems and pictures. Now you have me thinking about elephant books we’ve enjoyed — Bill Peet’s ‘Encore for Eleanor,’ ‘Ella,’ and ‘The Ant and the Elephant,’ and one non-Peet book — ‘The Saggy Baggy Elephant.’

  2. I think I will have seen everything, when I see an elephant fly. 🙂 I was able to read “The Cousins of Clouds” using the Amazon book viewer, and now I know why they can’t fly! Your patchwork elephants remind me a little of the Elmer book character. What a wonderful idea to change out artwork in permanent frames.

    As far as drawing, we keep markers, crayons and paper out at all times in our home so that the kids always have access and can create when the mood strikes.

  3. This book is right up my alley, combining as it does some of my fave things: elephants, flying, imaginative artwork, and intriguing poetry and poetry-topics. I have it in my Amazon shopping cart already.

    Your elephant collages are truly folk art. Thanks for your post today, Amy.

  4. I also have a child who hates to color and draw and groans at the mention of art. My other one, of course, loves anything arty or crafty.

    I think like a lot of things in homeschooling this gets to the balance between encouraging kids out of their comfort zone and enjoying the benefit of being able to play to their strengths.

    With art, for this particular son I purposefully don’t schedule a lot of crafty activities as part of school. We have an art program that we use and it’s just a requirement like any other subject. He does enjoy exploring other mediums (he likes clay or drawing with a pen more than paint). I do a lot more crafts and art with my other son who enjoys it and I always ask my oldest if he wants to join us. Usually he will, but if it was something he “had” to do he would grumble. I also encourage him to draw pictures of things he likes: battles, etc. He will do very detailed elaborate drawings of a battle or some kind of invention or a building but if he has to draw something like a leaf he’ll act like he’s dying. 🙂

  5. Amy

    Yes, my girls have ready access to all sorts of art materials, too. This child loves to make things but doesn’t like to draw or color at all. I think it’s just “how she’s turned,” to borrow a phrase from some old timers I know.


    It sounds like your son and my daughter are a lot alike! We haven’t used an official art curriculum this year, but I’m planning to add one next year. What have you used?

  6. You daughters did a great job!
    I have a few hesitant artists in my classes. For these reluctant artists, I take a back seat when giving instructions. I allow them to interpret the lesson as they see it. I also don’t make a point of offering praise (sounds strange, I know!) but I find these kids are a tad more intuitive than most.
    But having said that, some kids don’t like drawing because they have compared themselves to others and don’t think they draw as well. Sometimes, a directed line drawing can’t boost confidence. Good luck! You’re doing great!

  7. Cousins of Clouds sounds like such a good book! I will definitely have to see if I can borrow it from the library.

    I love your elephant collages…they turned out beautifully 🙂

    My daughters are both very inclined towards arts and crafts projects, but I do have one daughter who REALLY doesn’t like to have any prescribed activities associated with her creativity, so I can identify with that!

  8. THANK YOU so much for sharing this book with your children and blog readers, I SO appreciate it! And, I LOVE the ellie art you all made.

    Gorgeous! Fantastic! Such a creative idea. Would love to share, may I?

  9. Your review of Cousins of Clouds has me itching to find it already! And your elephants are adorable. I wouldn’t call my son a reluctant draw-er, but sometimes lacking in precision or patience. One thing that helped – scented markers that he’s only “allowed” to use for “special” projects. Makes them somehow more desirable.

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