Tag: arts integration

“Oh My, Mia Meow!” Children’s Picture Book Project

Mia Meow Children's Picture Book Project about a creative catHave you heard about the “Oh My, Mia Meow!” Children’s Picture Book Project?

I have done a lot of special projects through the years, and all have been important in some way. This project, however, rises to a whole new level of importance for me.

The more I get into it, the more I realize that this book can have significant impact on the lives of children, and there is nothing more important than making a difference to a child.

The book itself is simple. An ordinary cat faces everyday obstacles and seeks to find a way to overcome them. In the process, she discovers her power through creativity and ingenuity, and she becomes a very extraordinary cat. She explores new environments and meets a variety of animal friends along the way. It is an adventure that is revealed through colorful illustrations that intrigue and enamor children, and thus, inspire their imaginations.

Simple books for children can have a lot of power. Life lessons that are revealed through endearing stories and imaginative illustrations help children develop perspectives to shape their understanding of the world. Tapping into children’s imaginations allows us to broaden their understanding so they can create their own worldview.

So, what is so important about this book project?

  1. The stories and artwork of Mia Meow grew out of my work with preschool children. Their enthusiasm for the character, the artwork, and the story is what inspired me to create the book.
  2. The Mia Meow story teaches children that they can overcome obstacles with creative thinking and imaginative resourcefulness.
  3. Our culture tends to emphasize idealized stereotypes of power and mastery. Typical childhood “superheroes” have unrealistic strength and mythical weapons to demonstrate power, and they give children an unrealistic vision of how they should engage with their world. The story of Mia Meow lays a more realistic foundation for a child’s belief in his or her own creative abilities as a source of personal power.
  4. The story encourages arts integration as an important learning process for young children. The arts are key to childhood learning and healthy emotional development, yet so many schools struggle to maintain arts programming due to funding cuts. Mia Meow offers a creative and fun approach to learning which is supported by research in its effectiveness.
  5. The book engenders a love and empathy for animals, encouraging children to be considerate and respectful of all creatures.
  6. The book project and crowdfunding program, which will be launched soon, has a goal of raising funds for creating and publishing the book, but beyond that, there is also a goal of donating books to programs that serve children. My hope is that the crowdfunding campaign, once launched, will raise enough funds to donate books to:
  • Preschool classrooms of schools involved in the Artful Living Program, where the Mia Meow story and art were inspired.
  • The Canton, OH Police Department Community Policing Program, as a way for police officers to develop positive relationships with children and families in challenged neighborhoods.
  • Libraries in Stark County, OH and surrounding areas.
  • Other school and youth programs designated by contributors. Although my own focus will be local programs, my hope is that contributors will consider donating books to programs worldwide.

I will be launching an Indiegogo campaign soon for the “Oh My, Mia Meow!” Children’s Picture Book Project. I am using this online program to allow others to be a part of the project to gain seed funding for publishing the book and also to encourage donation of books to worthy programs. I hope that you will consider helping me with the campaign by contributing and/or sharing it with others to get the word out. Thanks so much for your interest in the project!

Life is an Adventure!



Mia Meow Children's Book Cat Character by BZTAT

Welcome to the new site for Mia Meow!

Mia Meow is a character that I have created based on my real live cat of that name. I created her character to help me as a teaching artist with children.

As an artist, I have been contracted through various schools and arts organizations to do what is called “arts integration”, which is using art to enhance academic learning. I have found that children enjoy learning more when they can engage with a character and a story, so I created Mia’s character for that purpose.

So far, I have used Mia’s character with one 4th grade science class, and the kids have absolutely loved her! We are in the process of writing and illustrating a book about land forms, and not only are they learning about the science, they are creating memorable images and stories as a collaborative project. Their joy in the process of learning and creating with Mia Meow as their inspiration is nothing short of amazing!

I wanted to share my journey in creating the character, and I also wanted to share the products that develop out of the process. I developed this site to chronicle mine and Mia’s adventures as we grow in this process.

I am not sure where this journey will lead, but I do have some big ideas. For starters, I am planning an illustrated book for children about Mia, and I am planning to create resources for teachers to enhance learning for their students.

Want to join us? We would love to have you along for the journey! Stay tuned – there are many adventures ahead for this curious little cat!

Life is an adventure!