I've been doing storytellings to very sweet 4 & 5 years olds in Tameside libraries. It's meant taxis at 6.50am and breakfast on the station, but I'm not selling books, so at least there's no suitcase to haul. You can tell it's getting colder though - look at the coats on the people on the Wednesday morning train!
We've had the usual fun, with school classes brought into the library for an hour at a time, and I've been looked after really well (thanks Jennifer!).
This 'Smudge' is by Georgia Lindsay, a little girl from Manor Green School, who came on Wednesday afternoon. She's only 4 years old - isn't it great? We had a no-show on Wednesday morning: the school forgot. Fortunately only the 2nd time that's ever happened to me. I filled the time doing big drawings for the library, then got onto a computer to do a bit of work. I'd brought my sketchbook, so I also did a bit of work on my story (see Lila and Sausage).
I forgot my sketchbook on Tuesday, so had to draw my train sketches in biro, on the back of the day's itinary:
Actually, Tuesday's visit had an added bit of excitement. Remember i told you about my exhibition for next year? (seeReally Exciting News!). That will also be in Tameside, in the Central Art Gallery. I haven't yet seen the space, so Katie Kennedy came to meet me at Droylsden Library, sat in on my last storytelling, and then took me over to see the gallery.
It's a lovely space: quite big, with a very high ceiling, in a slightly quirky, Victorian building that also houses the Central Library. There's a welcoming area adjoining the gallery room, with a manned desk and a horseshoe shaped, glazed counter, ideal for selling my books once the show's up.
We met up with Ruth Lomas, a very creative lady, who devises and manages all sorts of interesting educational projects in Tameside, that revolve around reading. She arrived worn out from presiding over her Schools Book Challenge semifinals (a wonderfully successful idea: a sort of cross between Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, University Challenge and Give Us A Clue!). We all sat in the space and brainstormed ideas for my exhibition. We want it to be as lively, child-friendly and interactive as possible, with various kid's projects, competitions and challenges to go with it.
I would quite like to set up a blog just for the show, for children to give feedback and add ideas of their own. I'm going to do a children's illustration competition (the prize will be work hung alongside mine in the gallery). Ruth is going to help to set up a sort of treasure hunt through the illustrations, and Katie is going to get schools to come in and work with me in the space, maybe making their own books. Plus lots of storytellings!
It's all so exciting. I still keep waiting for someone to tell me it's all just a big joke! If you want an invite by the way, do let me know!
This is my Wednesday evening train man - even though he was sitting opposite, only a couple of feet away, I don't think he noticed me drawing him. He must have been miles away!