I had a lovely day yesterday, running workshops tied into Dyslexia Awareness Week. The Stafford Dyslexia Unit work with small groups of 9 - 11 year olds, seeing them one morning a week. They have got some extra funding to do a really exciting project - the children are going to write, illustrate and produce their very own picture book, called Digby the Dyslexic Dinosaur. Fantastic eh? The books will be properly bound and I have been promised a copy!
It was decided to kick things off with an illustration workshop: perfect timing, given that I have so recently finished work on Gnash Gnaw Dinosaur! and consider myself quite the dinosaur-drawing expert these days!
The sessions were in Shire Hall Library. Unfortunately I was nearly an hour late for the morning one, because of late trains. Everyone was very patient (thanks guys) and we coped OK. I was at least able to show them some of the sketches I'd done on my late train, passing the time. Children are always amazed to see such freshly drawn sketches.
I was impressed that the children all drew with confidence and worked really well together, even two children for whom it was their very first time. They all caught on very quickly.
They drew more polished versions, adding their own, really interesting ideas. There was the predictable footballer dinosaur, but drawn with perfect poise. Some children stuck sheets together to create long chase sequences. One boy drew a tunnel of burrowing dinosaurs, another created a lava flow for his dinosaur to flee from, complete with burning trees. There was a tiny dinosaur, rolled into a ball like an armadillo, rolling downhill away from a big dinosaur using him as a football. One boy even created his own lift-up flap, inspired by Gnash Gnaw Dinosaur!.
And a special 'thank you' to Sue, the TA, who mucked in and created a spectacular 'executive' dinosaur, in tie and glasses!
I do hope the book goes well everyone - I'll swap you a copy of yours for one of my Gnash Gnaw Dinosaur! when it's available!
My journey home was much easier. This is the day's 'man on the train' sketch. I had only just started his hand when he moved it away. Fortunately people tend to adopt the same poses so, if you wait, they go back. I had to do the hand in about four goes. Very tricky, as hands in these sort of positions are a bit of a nightmare in the first place!