Thursday, September 1, 2011

Children's Book Week - School Visits

I've just completed a week of school visits and library workshops for Children's Book Week. It has meant putting my family and friends on hold while I raced around between gigs, checking and double checking: my bag, my books, my notes, my handouts, my art folders, my sketchbook, my scrapbook, my sketch pad, my USB, my giveaways, my cards, my lunch, my water... my head. Yes, that was screwed on.

Monday kicked off with a full day of Illustration Workshops at a local primary school for classes from Prep to Year Seven.

The focus of the workshops was to learn how text and images work together in a picture book with expected outcomes for students being: improved visual literacy and understanding of narrative structure.

This was also a wonderful opportunity for me to trial my unpublished picture book The Blue Tutu on an eager audience of 5 to 12 year olds. I relished their reactions to the story and my main character, Molly's problem. The page turning suspense kept them hooked and the plot twist in the second act caught them by surprise. I could've cried for joy.

The Prep – Grade 1 workshop was purely visual and auditory, looking at how a picture book is developed and created, with hands on drawing. Some children focussed very hard on 'drawing from the shoulder' and keeping their hands relaxed.

The Grades 2-4 workshop also involved story structure and first rough illustrations. They went back to class with a simple storyboard and ideas for developing characters.

The Grades 5-7 workshop included looking at picture book structure, the visual narrative, page layouts, story flow, developing characters, preliminary storyboarding and creating a dummy book. The highlight for me was when a group of Years 5-6 stayed behind at lunch and asked me to help them with plotting. We had fun mind-mapping ideas on large sheets of paper. They came up with more plot twists than a crime novel!

All classes saw first hand examples of preliminary sketches for my picture book The Blue Tutu, as well as rough illustrations, a storyboard, a full size dummy book, final sketches and final artwork. It gave them an insight into the work that goes into creating a finished picture book. There was a lot to cover!

If you would like to book a workshop in your school or library please contact me:
I’m able to tailor a workshop on writing and/or illustrating for children to suit your needs.

If you enjoyed this post then pop back on Saturday, 3rd August when author Tania McCartney will be visiting my blog to share some tips on Speaking in Schools.

Tania is stopping by on her blog tour for the launch of her new book, Riley and the Grumpy Wombat.


Unknown said...

Hi Angela,
Thanks for sharing your school visits during book week. I love the photos of the children working on their own picture books.

Children will forever treasure author visits such as yours, and the magic that reading and writing brings.
Well done. Very inspiring!

Angela Sunde. said...

Thank you, Renee. I'm so happy to get this post up and share it. It was such a fun week, but so busy!

DimbutNice said...

I can't believe it was one of your first Book Week presentations! It was an absolute joy and honour to work alongside you Angela. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience, most especially the kids' reactions and involvement. Priceless. Beautiful post.

N J .............. said...

Congratulations. With your teaching background this is perfect for you and I know that the children would have learnt so much. Keep it up.

Angela Sunde. said...

Thank you, Nicola and Dimity. Being an experienced teacher in primary and secondary certainly does help.