A bit of a hectic middle to the week. I have just spent 3 days solid doing children's events, in Stockport, Leeds and Derby. Good fun, but quite tiring, not least because of the early mornings! More opportunities for train victims though - this is Mr Tuesday morning.
Tuesday was a bit unusual actually. Remember I mentioned that Class Two at the Zoo has been shortlisted for the Stockport School's Book Award? Well, it's actually judged by kids (the shortlisted books are sent into local schools, where the kids read them all and vote for their favourite). The organisers decided to extend the process this year, and asked each child to do an illustration of the book they had voted for. They hung the best as an exhibition in Stockport Art Gallery and, to add value and publicity to the event, I was invited to spend a day in the space working with local children.
I started with an illustration workshop based on Class Two at the Zoo. We did big, scary creatures chasing after things. I gave tips on how to draw 'chasing', like leaning the characters forwards, getting the arms and legs in the right positions, and using tails to show speed. Then I showed how easily you can get a scary, 'I want to eat you' face, by turning a round head into a moon shape, then adding teeth, tongue and some eyes on top (with angry eyebrows). They did some smashing drawings and we took lots of photos, so hopefully I might be able to include some for you to see soon. 'Gold Star' to the mum who reluctantly had a go and then did a quite extraordinary, almost A1 sized gorilla!
I did a story-writing workshop next, which made a nice change (and a big 'thank you' to all those enthusiastic kids who turned up for both). The children suggested ideas for story components and then we pulled things randomly out of a bag, and wove them in. Not everyone wanted to read out, which was fine, but those we heard were great. Finish them off kids, and I can put them in the website story gallery!
I was thrilled to meet Thomas Honey at my afternoon storytelling session, as he had voted for Class Two at the Zoo, and had done a lovely illustration of the hippos hopping in the mud, which was hanging in the final exhibition (well done Thomas!) We both got a bit excited and his gran took our photo together by his painting.
For the storyetlling session, I read Class Three All At Sea, as that's the sequel to Class Two, and also I wanted to wear the pirate hat I'd made. Plus I get to put on silly voices and make jokes about bogeys and seagull poo (don't ask!). The children did smashing, sea-fairing pictures.
I managed to draw enough flip-chart animal pictures for everyone to take one home (including more than one 'princess' butterfly). I was so worn out on the train home, I didn't even victimise any poor, unsuspecting travellers...