Sarah: Last night I dreamt of gold latex and silk. I dreamt of cuttlefish. I dreamt of whales.
As one in a series of ‘Great Big Science Read’ events, yesterday evening The RiAus hosted artist, author and illustrator Kim Michelle Toft at a public session entitled “A Sea of Words: Increasing Science Literacy in Children“. Kim has a fascination, an obsession almost, with Australian marine life and other fauna and flora occurring naturally in this country. To inspire children to become drawn into her world of beauty and scientific discovery, Kim creates vivid paintings on silk using liquid gold-coloured latex (to form her signature image outlines) and liquid dyes in every hue you can imagine. Silk paintings are then photographed,scanned and appear in her award winning children’s books. Always a sucker for art, books and science, I was a sitting duck.
For my 8-year-old reptile-obsessed son, I bought tick tock tick tock: What’s Up Croc?, which features illustrations of the life of a salty croc, but also details of crocodile anatomy and physiology.
My 6-year old daughter, who loves spelling, words, writing, and marine life; she will receive A Sea of Words, and be enticed by ‘many mellow manatees’ which ‘mimic mythical mermaids’, and ‘ten tiny tasty turtles’ that ‘tempt terrible twin toadfish’.
And my baby? Well, he’s going to learn about babies, in Neptune’s Nursery. Here, the images of nautiluses and blue-ringed octopus are mesmerising.
It was a wonderful evening.
[all images appear on Kim’s website]