What's That, Mom?: How to use public art to engage your children with the world around them... without being an artist yourself

Shala K Howell (Author)


"...Howell proves with this guide that anyone can nurture a lifelong love of art in little ones. Simple but effective tips for busy parents." -- Kirkus Reviews

Every time your child asks you a question, what he or she is really doing is inviting you to have a conversation. Even better, your child is telling you exactly what he or she wants to talk about. All you have to do is allow yourself to participate.

But what do you do if your child wants to talk about something you don't know anything about, like art?

The wonderful thing about public art is that it is all around us, sparking your children's curiosity and prompting conversations. Even better, talking about art with your children can help boost their creativity, speed language acquisition, and help them develop the critical thinking skills they need to thrive in our visual world.

The terrible thing about public art is that it's art, and art feels like one of those subjects you can't talk about unless you have a degree in it or a talent for making it.

I have neither.

Lucky for me (and for you) that doesn't matter.

What's That, Mom? provides 15 accessible, practical strategies for using public art to spark conversations with children between the ages of 3 and 10 -- no artistic talent or insight required.

My goal in writing this book is to help you deepen your relationship with your children and build memories that your entire family will cherish later on. If in the process, I can help you convert public art from something you exclaim over vaguely into something you actively explore with your children, so much the better.

Product Details

Caterpickles Press
Publish Date
September 03, 2017
8.5 X 0.21 X 8.5 inches | 0.48 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Shala Howell spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world's most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now she turns her attention to a much more complex problem -- fostering children's curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. Her blog on fostering curiosity in children, Caterpickles, has had hundreds of thousands of visitors over the past five years. The first book in her Caterpickles Parenting Series, What's That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children's curiosity in the world around them. Her next book, Did Dinosaurs Have Belly Buttons?, will talk about science, and how parents without a science degree can handle their children's curious questions without enrolling in a college-level refresher course.


"...Howell proves with this guide that anyone can nurture a lifelong love of art in little ones. Simple but effective tips for busy parents." -- Kirkus Reviews