Michelle offers a unique interdisciplinary method of fostering creative thinking and appreciation for nature, science, and art. Her mission is to provide all children with the kind of education she practiced in gifted kids’ institutes, to help them reach higher, be creative, and have confidence. Welcome, Michelle!
Tell us a little about yourself. I am a mother to two beautiful talented teen daughters and a creativity lifelong educator. I have developed my own method of instilling creative thinking, throughout my life research. I agonize over the loss of innate creativity during elementary, and I believe we’d prevent many problems if we’d foster creative thought instead of stifling it focusing on academic studying.
What is the title and genre of your book, and who published it? The title of my book is Creative Children Like the Animals of the World. It is self-published.
Tell us a little about your book. The young readers become co-authors and co-illustrators, creating a one-of-a-kind book presenting their child genius. The humorous stories and poems are written in a way that captures kids’ attention. Coloring pages and paintings are used to ignite the kids’ imagination, inspiring them to add their own creative thinking ideas in writing and drawing.
Stories are diverse: about the world of the beehive, about two caterpillar brothers who fight all day long becoming friends only when maturing into butterflies, about a Native American boy on a journey to get his ill father — the tribe’s chief — a unique cure, and many more.
What inspired you to write it? My inspiration was my work with kids and growing my two creative daughters. When they were little, I would say I need to write a story about an ant, for example. My elder daughter immediately told a one-hour story about the ant. My younger kid would insist on a certain character trait the ant must have. My mind filled with their ideas, conflicts they were dealing with, scientific research and a lot of kids’ literature bedtime reading, I sat to write the stories. Sometimes during class. a kid came up with a rhyme, and I’d add it.
When did you first start writing? I started writing 20 years ago, when I began working with kids. I needed teaching materials challenging the kids’ intelligence and grabbing their curiosity, to lead energetic, fun and creative lessons. I gave up on teaching aids and focused on creating relationships with the kids, telling them stories nurturing their curiosity about the world.
What authors have most influenced you? How and why? I was inspired by Dr. Zeuss in both my writing, coloring pages drawing and painting. I loved reading his books with my daughters. We also liked Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper. We still delight on the pumpkin soup made following the recipe in the book. We also liked Geronimo Stilton’s adventures, Fancy Nancy, and many more.
What book first touched you deeply? I loved Lisa and Lotty by Erich Kastner. We read a lot of his books when we were kids. I loved the two girls in the book for their motivation, love of life and strong will.
As an adult searching for an artistic identity, my inspiration was “Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman” by Richard Feynman. He is my role model with his courage to live by his childlike curiosity, which led him to become a Nobel Prize laureate.
What genres do you like to read? For years I’ve been a Nora Roberts reader. I found her books to be written with the spark of genius. The phrases were precise. There was no waste of words. The love stories were like fuel during daily chores.
When I wrote my book, I focused on science books. I had to understand scientific phenomena like the rainbow or the symmetry of the peacock’s tail feathers in order to be able to relate them to my young readers. Now I read mainly education books to enhance my ability to help parents, grandparents and educators raise creative thinkers.
How do these books affect your writing? Nora Roberts’ books have inspired me to create beautifully phrased sentences in order to ignite kids’ love for rich language and to tell children love stories. This is a subject kids love. My science reading ignited my writing and painting. Understanding nature on a scientific level, helped me present the magnificence and grandeur of nature, serving my mission to help people connect to nature and thus to themselves. Reading education books helps me identify what I have been doing right with my kids and students, so I can give useful tips and guidance on how to raise creative thinking children.
Where do you like to write? Why? When I have been writing the children’s stories, my kids were little. The only way to write was all over and all the time. At the kitchen table there were always sheets of paper, in case an idea struck me during cooking. In my bag there was always a notebook and pen, in case a rhyme popped up into my head during driving. Such ideas tend to run off as soon as they show up. So I would write them down stopping at the red light. Nowadays I write in the library. I feel very much at home in libraries.
What time of day do you like to write. Why? When my kids were little, I’d sit and incorporate my ideas into stories and poems at those rare times they didn’t need me. I love typing my writing in the morning when everyone is at school or work. That’s my peace of mind and happiness of spirit.
In what genres do you write? I write poetry and short stories. My paintings complement my writing. There were times a poem inspired a painting, and there were times it was the other way around.
E-book or paper ~ do you have a preference? I read e-books and it’s OK. But I love the touch and smell of paper.
How and where have you marketed your work? I’m making worldwide connections to market my book, sitting at my desktop. I live in a creative bubble, not listening to the news; just deepening my knowledge to help family and educators foster creative thinking, hopefully using my book.
Do you have other publishing credits? Not at the time. I wish to create a series of activity books that will be simpler and shorter.
What is your current writing project? I’m working on a guide on how to raise creative thinkers; it will be called The Age of Creativity. At first I’d considered writing it as a guide like many others. Then I decided to do it my way, in the same format as my children’s book.
Poems and short stories will ignite imagination, while interesting questions, coloring pages and free writing and drawing will help the reader go through a process of becoming a facilitator of creativity, role modeling the kids to success.
If you have a blog, what subjects do write about? My blog offers out-of-the-box teaching, parenting and grand-parenting video tutorials. The home page offers a free gift of my book’s animal coloring pages. That is especially for kindle readers, to continue the experience of reading with fun coloring.
My mission is to tool parents in having meaningful quality time with the kids, building communication and enriching. I guide grandparents in helping their grand-kids according to their unique point of view. Educators are guided on incorporating creative thinking lessons into curriculum.
Where can your books be purchased? My book is available on Amazon US, Canada and Europe in print. The kindle edition is available on more Amazon channels worldwide. For UK readers there is a UK edition, where color is colour, and so on. Both editions are also available on CreateSpace estore and Barnes & Noble.
What advice would you give a new writer? Take the book through multiple rounds of editing. Aspire to perfection. I love it when a piece of art or literature is finished. Everything seems to fall into place in a catchy simplicity. You’d know that the work isn’t finished yet, when it’s still complex in a way.
What do you wish to say to your readers? More than ever it is important to read with the kids. They seem to be uninterested. But don’t give up. They seem happy glued to a screen, but they feel hollow inside.
Sit beside them, let them bask on the human touch, embrace them with your adult voice, and read. Encourage a small talk about the reading and laugh together. This will give you opportunities to learn about things that happened during the kids’ days, and to improve life, social and learning skills.
You won’t believe how much the kids (and you) need that!