We are recommending a book by one of our McKay School alumni, Denise Logan, who has written and published Amazing Art Projects for Children.

Unable to find many actual projects in any textbooks for elementary grade art teachers, McKay School alumna Denise (Barrette) Logan decided to fill the gap herself. She wrote and published, Dynamic Art Projects for Children (2005) and self-published a second book, Amazing Art Projects for Children (2012).

Amazing Art Projects for Children is a compilation of educational art projects for children. Her goal in writing and designing these books was to provide regular classroom teachers, parents, as well as art teachers engaging and easily understood lessons that could bring out the best in children. Extensive step-by-step photography, student examples, patterns, and templates, along with a lay flat spiral binding, have proven to be what teachers were looking for—both books are doing as well as the day they came out.

In 2012, Amazing Art Projects for Children was chosen from over 1,000 world wide entries representing long-established publishers, small presses, foundations, and self-published entrepreneurs to receive one of 48 gold medals awarded as, “an exemplary children’s book dedicated to the shaping of young minds and imaginations,” according to the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Denise Logan's first book, Dynamic Art Projects for ChildrenDenise explains, “Many people assume that if you give a child specific instructions you are suppressing their creativity. I have seen for myself that children thrive when they are presented with engaging ideas, images, and clear instructions. This linear sequential approach (left brain) gives them the confidence and the motivation to creatively (right brain) tackle challenging projects. Even children who don’t usually gravitate to art discover motivation when they understand the process and see the possibilities. It’s that, ‘Oh I get it; I can do that’ moment. Each creation is always unique to that child and a great source of validation.”

“It is rewarding to find children’s art based on one of my projects posted on the web and imagining that perhaps I was instrumental in facilitating a positive art experience for that child. Beyond that, it has been rewarding to self-publish. Just like art, I was able to create the book to look exactly how I wanted in the end. My children and grandchildren were my hands models for both books. We created many good memories together making art!”

Logan graduated from BYU in 1977 with a bachelor of arts in graphic design with a post bac certification. She earned her learning-disabled teacher certification in 1986 through a BYU extension program and received her K–12 art teacher certification through the Arizona State University in 1994. Denise has eight children, and she and her husband, Myron, currently live in Gilbert, Arizona.