Seasons of Joy: New Picture Book Inspires Outdoor Play, Nature Awareness

The pure and simple delight of children playing outside is captured in the wool paintings created by Claudia Marie Lenart in Seasons of Joy: Everyday is for Outdoor Play.

The picture book pairs dreamy images of children, animals, flowers and trees with verse that expresses the joy young children experience in nature’s seasons. Children can see themselves in the diverse characters and can be inspired to spend more time playing outdoors and connecting to nature.Seasons of Joy: New Picture Book Inspires Outdoor Play, Nature Awareness 1

This is the fourth book that Lenart has illustrated using wool as the artistic medium, a technique of illustration she pioneered. This is her first book as author. The book is published by Loving Healing Press, that has been producing entertaining, educational, and uplifting books for children since 2008.

Donni Webber, author of Magical Miniature Gardens and Homes, blogger at The Magic Onions calls the book “a delight for adults and children alike.” Commenting on the importance of movement in learning, retired Waldorf educator Barbara Patterson, author of Beyond the Rainbow Bridge: Nurturing Our Children from Birth to Seven, wrote, “Young children learn through imitation and movement. If that movement is filled with imaginative pictures, they are able to take it up in their whole being and express it outwardly in their play.” Linda Åkeson McGurk, journalist and blogger at Rain or Shine Mama, says Seasons of Joy is exactly what it sets out to be – a joy to read and an inspiration for nature play for children everywhere.

As a former journalist, editor of a parenting magazine and Waldorf mom, Lenart has long been an advocate for the importance of outdoor play and nature experiences in childhood. She hopes that young children will relate to the multi-cultural images of children playing outside and that it will spur them to imitate the actions and spend more time outside joyfully playing.

“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. In our high-tech world kids truly need the rejuvenation that nature offers,” says Lenart.

Recently, Lenart was featured in a WGN-TV segment to talk about her artwork that makes a story’s characters come alive in children’s books.

Find out more at Claudia Marie Lenart’s website