Join the Adventure!

 

Mia Meow Children's Book Cat Character Landscape Painting

On one particular Wednesday, I walked through the school doors like I do every week, struggling to keep my three bags of art supplies from spilling into the floor. As I rounded the corner and headed in the direction of Miss Avery’s preschool class, I heard a chorus of small voices behind me.

“Oh my, oh my, Mia Meow!” the voices cried out in unison.

I turned around, and I smiled at the cherubic faces that had gathered behind me. A group of familiar children were apparently returning to their classroom after a restroom break. I bent down towards them and we chanted together, over and over, “Oh my, oh my, Mia Meow!”

Then, a cacophony of giggles ensued.

We walked together to the classroom, giggling the whole way, and as the children found their seats in a circle on the carpet, we said it again with the entire class.

“Oh my, oh my, Mia Meow!”

I looked at the eager faces before me, and I thought to myself, “These kids absolutely LOVE Mia Meow!”

It was then that I knew that I had something special with this cat character that I had created.

I had developed the Mia Meow character a few months back as a way to introduce preschool art lessons that I I had been hired to teach for an arts integration program. It began as a simple painting of my pet cat Mia looking up at the sun. The rays of the sun alternated from orange to yellow forming a pattern, giving me a visual aid to help the students learn about patterns. After discussing the painting, the children had enthusiastically completed a coloring project where they colored patterns on sun drawings similar to the one in the painting.

Along with the painting, I had shared a little poem, encouraging the children to repeat the refrain:

Mia Meow Children's Book Cat Character Painting by Artist BZTATMia Meow was a curious cat.

Oh, my! Oh my! Mia Meow!

Mia Meow was an artist cat.

Oh, my! Oh my! Mia Meow!

Mia Meow thought she was all that.

Oh, my! Oh my! Mia Meow!

Mia Meow, what a silly little cat!

Oh, my! Oh my! Mia Meow!

Since that first time, I now bring a new painting of Mia Meow to my classes every week, relating the artwork to the art lesson and the educational objective at hand. The children have come to anticipate the paintings when I arrive for my lesson, greeting me in each class with the words, “Oh my, oh my, Mia Meow!”

Before I started bringing the cat paintings to my classes, the students had enjoyed the art projects that I had introduced in other ways. With Mia Meow, though, they engaged in the art activity with a new kind of enthusiasm. Even the children who had behavioral challenges were more engaged than I had ever seen them. It was obvious that connecting with a creative character inspired my students to express themselves creatively, and it made their learning more fun.

I visit 19 different preschool classes each week, working with over 300 students. The response to Mia Meow has been so amazing with these students, I know that there is something here for all young children to enjoy. If artworks of Mia Meow can have this kind of impact on 300 students, why not share them with more?

I am embarking on a journey to do just that.

Where will this journey lead? For starters, a picture book of Mia Meow with creative inspirations for children is in the works. I am in the process of developing a story and creating artworks for a book that will capture the imaginations of children around the world. From there, who knows? The possibilities are endless.

I believe that encouraging creative thinking in young formative minds is key to empowering children towards productive futures.  I also believe that life is an adventure, and full of creative possibilities.

Will you join me in this adventure to bring creativity to as many children as I can with Mia Meow?

To join the adventure, follow along as the story and the book develops. There will be many opportunities to participate in our creative journey in the coming days.

There is so much we can do through a silly little cat whose imagination touches the hearts of children!

“Oh my, oh my, Mia Meow!”

 Posted by at 3:16 pm