by Tina Johansson
Artist Claudia Lenart has been making children’s books captivatingly beautiful with her dream-like creations for several years.
It features a diverse group of children playing in the outdoors, enjoying winter, spring, summer and fall. Her characters created with a 3-D effect appear soft and lively, almost tempting you to touch them.
Outdoor play is good for the brain, good for the body, good for the soul. There are numerous studies that prove the benefits of imaginative, outdoor play.” – Claudia Lenart
Geared towards 2 to 7-year-olds, the picture book consists of one dozen illustrations—three for each season of the year.
A resident of Wauconda, Lenart is both an animal enthusiast and a nature fan. And it shows in her needle-felted creations that seem to come to life. The book pairs the images of children, animals, flowers and trees with verse that expresses the joy young children experience while playing outdoors.
Lenart, a former Waldorf mom, is hopeful that her book will be an inspiration to parents to take their children out to experience nature more often. “Outdoor play is good for the brain, good for the body, good for the soul,” she said. “There are numerous studies that prove the benefits of imaginative, outdoor play. In our high-tech world kids truly need the rejuvenation that nature offers.”
The idea for the book came to Lenart about four years ago after she was commissioned to create a wool painting for Da Vinci Waldorf school in Wauconda. She created the work to their specifications showing children playing in the four seasons, with trees transforming from spring through winter. Since that time, she has created and sold several similar paintings as well as prints for her world-wide customers. “People really connected to the image,” said Lenart. “I was already illustrating books, and I thought my Seasons painting should be a book too.”
Loving Healing Press has published her book, the same company that published the other three books that Lenart illustrated. Those include: Hansel and Gretel: A Fairy Tale with a Down Syndrome Twist (Fairy Ability Tales Book 5); Jenny and Her Dog Both Fight Cancer: A Tale of Chemotherapy and Caring; and most recently Prince Preemie: A Tale of a Tiny Puppy Who Arrives Early.
Besides Earth Day, World Book Day is April 23, so get a good book and begin reading with your children. “Seasons of Joy: Every Day is For Outdoor Play” can make the perfect read.
The book sells at Amazon for $14 to $25. It is available in soft or hard cover, and Kindle.
To see more of Claudia Lenart’s handwork, go to: Claudia Marie Felt.