Whenever I sit down to read picture books with my girls, I like to go through these two questions in my mind:
Is this book exciting and engaging for us to read through its flow and gorgeous illustrations?
Can this reading this book be an opportunity to plant seeds of faith for my kids?
Alphabet Kingdom by Starla Michelle Halfmann answers yes to those questions and MORE.
Check out this quick video where I discuss the book and an overview of the art project inspired by it.
This beautiful book is a show stopper! It’s a large-format book with big, bold and gorgeous illustrations that are paintings of the talented Starla Halfmann, Texas-based artist who loves to use animals and nature as her subjects. This book features an animal painting for each letter of the alphabet to help children learn their letters and sounds while being immersed into a colorful world of swirling paint and fun patterns all while celebrating the beauty of nature. This led me to use this book as an opportunity to reinforce the story of creation from Genesis 1… sharing with my children God as the ultimate Creator who gave us the living creatures of the earth, and that is worth finding joy in.
“God made every kind of wild animal, every kind of tame animal, and every kind of thing that crawls on the ground. God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:25
There was no way that I couldn’t create art with my kids based off this beauty. So with the beginning of school and reviewing letter sounds… this is what we did: Painted Paper Letter Art (great for ages 3 and up!)
Gather the following supplies:
- 12″ x 18″ white paper for letter template (if using)
- 12″ x 18″ painted (or colored) paper (for the letter)
- 12″ x 18″ colored paper for the background
- White liquid glue
- Liquid tempera paint (red, white, green, turquoise, etc.)
- Painting & printing tools (leaf shaped kitchen sponges, round sponge brushes in different sized, q-tips, cardboard squares)
Patty at Deep Space Sparkle taught me everything about making painted paper that I use in projects all the time with my girls. Check out this blog post to help you with everything painted paper.
Here is how this project came together:
- Print a letter template or draw your own for your child to trace on 12″ x 18″ white paper. We did the letter of our first names. Trace the template onto the back of the painted paper and cut out.
2. Glue the letter onto the colored paper background. Use the sponges and q-tips and cardboard scraps to print leaf shapes or petals inspired by the book. My three year old below just went to town with stamping designs. Either way is fine!
3. Use a q-tip to add patterns to the letter itself. Refer to the book for beautiful color combinations.
If you enjoyed this book and/or story time project, please tag us on Instagram: @picturebooksandpeonies or #picturebooksandpeonies OR leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!