Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Book Release: "Time to Create" by Christie Burnett

"Time to Create" Book Release
photo of: "Time to Create" Book Launch: 'Hands-On Explorations in Process Art for Young Children'

It is with great joy and fanfare that I bring to you good news. The world is a better place now, in that there is a brilliant new resource available. I am so happy to share this delightful and insightful book with you. I have decided that I will 'give away' my press copy to one lucky winner. Look for the Rafflecopter party at the conclusion of this interview, to receive my review copy for your library. This is literally a 'pass-it-forward' opportunity.

photo of: Process vs. Product in Children's Art

I am extremely passionate about children's art and have written about the difference between process and product in this article at our collaborative blog, "PreK+K Sharing." The article remains as the #2 read article of all time, so I know that its a topic that is of interest. It is with complete happiness that I bring to you Christie Burnett -- from the other side of world. Here is our interview about the release and backstory of her new book. ~~ Debbie

Tell us a little about your blog, Christie. 
When my first daughter, Immy, was just a baby I began Childhood 101 as a new mum desperately trying to get her head around being a parent, something I naively thought would be easy after many years working as an early childhood teacher. I quickly learned that teaching in kindergarten, first grade or even day care had nothing on being an actual parent 24x7. Childhood 101 quickly became my place for me; as a new stay at home mum I found that I missed having something for me, especially as my work as a teacher had always been such an important part of my life. I was excited to share my passion for childhood - for the importance of space and time for children's play, learning and growing - via a whole new platform to a wonderful worldwide community. Nowadays I am a Mum to two little girls who squeezes blogging, writing and freelance into the moments not consumed by family responsibilities.

Time to Create_Monoprinting

What led you to your passion for process art for children?
For six years I was the start-up Director of an Early Learning Centre for 2-5 year olds and it was during this time that I began researching, and ultimately adopting, an Emergent Curriculum approach to early education. I was particularly interested in the philosophy of the world renowned educators in the Reggio Emilia region of Italy and their work with the creative arts as one of the hundred languages of children. Through my study and subsequent implementation, I saw for myself the value of art making as a tool for children to use to share their thinking, ideas and feelings, and also the important truth - that for the child the act of creating is as important (and often more so) as the final product she creates. For an educator supporting children in that creative space, it is through our observation of the processes children use, their language and interactions that support the act of creating, and our own support of the children with good questioning techniques, that we gain valuable insight into what the child is communicating in that moment. Where an adult most commonly sees a drawing, painting or sculpture as an object, that mark on the page or roll of clay may instead represent many things to a child - an action, a sound, an emotion, to name just a few.

How did your book, Time to Create, come about?
In early 2011 I published an eBook, Art Not Craft, based on a workshop I had previously taught to early childhood educators. The wonderful MaryAnn Kohl of Brightring Publishing contacted me, offering to act as my agent in presenting the eBook to early childhood specific publishers. She negotiated a deal with the first publisher approached, Gryphon House, and my first ‘real’ book Time to Create: Hands On Explorations in Process Art for Young Children was just released in June.

  Time to Create_Christie Burnett

Who did you write Time to Create for?
I wrote Time to Create with both parents and educators in mind – particularly those who struggle with finding ideas, time and/or space for offering artistic opportunities for children. Children provided with regular opportunities to express their own ideas and understandings creatively will be well equipped to tackle many of the challenges of our modern day world as through these experiences they are developing essential skills associated with problem solving. planning, communication, perseverance and self expression. Art making really is important to children’s learning.

Tell us a little about the book.
Packed with everyday opportunities for children to learn as they create and discover, plan and test ideas, wonder and explore the world around them, Time to Create offers accessible art activity ideas for parents and educators to explore with young children (babies through to early elementary age). With an emphasis on process over product, each activity encourages discovery through a variety of art media, with sections dedicated to exploring;
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Collage
  • Sculpture
  • Textiles
  • Digital Photography, and
  • Natural Materials.
The practical ideas for making art are supported by information for supporting children’s learning as they create, and tools for seeing and talking with children about art. Time to Create also includes tips for fostering creativity, advice for choosing the right art project, suggestions for minimising the mess, ideas for making space to create and for choosing and organising art materials.

  Time to Create by Christie Burnett

What message do you hope educators take away from the book?
That working with art making materials provides children with so much more than the opportunity to get messy, or to learn colour names or how to hold a pencil. That regular opportunities to create provide opportunities for development for the whole child - language, cognitive, social, emotional and physical, and that art materials provide the perfect medium for children to share their knowledge
and ideas.

 Time to Create_Sewing

How can educators achieve this?
By providing children with regular and repeated opportunities to create with a range of art making materials. Initially children's explorations of a new medium will be more sensory in nature as they learn about the material's properties and potential but over time these experiences will become more purposeful. Children need time to create freely and, as they grow to develop more interest and control, also with purpose. Let me give you an example. My 5 1/2 year old daughter has had regular and largely independent access to a range of art materials since she was about sixteen months old. Just recently we were observing a parrot eating an apple on a fruit tree in our backyard. Immy was fascinated and after watching and talking with me for a while she disappeared. When I found her a short time later she had pulled out some blank paper, a lead pencil and some coloured pencils and was busily creating a book about parrots. As she has had consistent access to art making tools for so long it makes sense that she now turns to them independently when she has something specific to share - whether that be something she is learning, or the rehearsal of a new skill, or even as she processes feelings and emotions.

  Parrots eat apples

How can readers purchase Time to Create?
Time to Create is available in paperback internationally from major online booksellers such as Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble, and for those living in the United States or Canada it is also available in bookstores. It is also available in digital format through Amazon’s Kindle store, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook bookstore.


Christie Burnett is a qualified early childhood teacher and mum of two very busy, little girls who shares her parenting adventures and passion for play and early childhood education on her award winning blog, Her first book Time to Create: Hands-On Explorations in Process Art for Young Children is now available internationally through all major online booksellers, including The Book Depository, Amazon and Fishpond.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love that art allows students to create through their emotions and not being told what to paint.

  2. Unfortunately our time is limited in the day to include art every day. "Process art" was a new term for me, but I realized that each time we allow students to create anything responsive through drawing, painting, gluing various media, etc. we are allowing them to process what they're learning, seeing, feeling :) I am a HUGE advocate for art and creativity. I think it's sad that education has moved away from that due standardized testing and budget limitations. We are very blessed to have an AMAZING art teacher who is able to see all the students weekly! They LOVE it and NEED it!! I would love to read this book and share with my sweet art teacher (I affectionately nicknamed Arty :) Thanks so much for this post!

  3. Time to Create sounds like a very interesting book. I would very much like to have a copy of my own.

  4. This looks like a wonderful resource as a classroom teacher! I'm excited to sift through it!

  5. Love giveaways and new resources! Thanks for the chance to win!


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