She spoke with her editor, Allyn Johnston. The dynamic between them and the stories Ms. Elhert told us about her childhood were so interesting and inspiring. I also attended a Lois Elhert book discussion at this conference, where we had the chance to create Lois Elhert-inspired art using what was basically scraps and junk. Here are three of our creations (mine's the cat all the way on the right):
After this, I had it in my head that I would do a Lois Elhert program, where I read a few of her books, then let the kids craft with leftover old craft scraps.
I guess it was some time during my description of enthusiastically reusing garbage, when my colleague suggested taking it up a notch and including other illustrators too. Well, to that I say... Consider it done!
I decided to pick 4 illustrators who's art, to me, had a particular kind of distinguished style. First, of course, was Lois Elhert, but deciding on three more was hard! Eventually I chose Michael Hall, Mo Willems, and Jean Marzollo (I Spy) to complete the list.
Like I said, I'm out on disability, but my colleague executed this program so beautifully. She is incredibly artistic and a talented librarian; the kids were almost lucky to have her fill in for me. There is no way I would have pulled this off as well as she did.
I'll take credit for the plan though. I envisioned this:
4 stations set up around the room-- one for each artist: Lois Ehlert, Michael Hall, Mo Willems, and Jean Marzollo. I planned to put books from each illustrator on the tables and briefly go through the different art techniques they used with the kids. Then the kids would get a chance to create art in the style of each illustrator.
On the Lois Ehlert table: MISCELLANEOUS JUNK AND SCRAPS (with a side of enthusiasm)!
On the Michael Hall table: I'd envisioned this being somewhat similar but instead of just junk, there would be die-cut shapes.
On the Mo Willems table: These "How To Draw Pigeon" sheets from Classymommy.com and, of course, paper and pencils.
On the Jean Marzollo table: A bunch of little toys and miscellaneous things and some kind of trays or plates. Then have the kids create a "scene" by arranging the stuff and then choosing one random item to "spy".
Here is how my colleague set up the room. I love how she put everything around the perimeter of the room, like an awesome, creative buffet. Did I mention she's wonderful?
|Lois Elhert Table|
|Michael Hall Table|
|Mo Willems Table|
|Jean Marzollo Table|
Here are some of our creative young patrons making really impressive art (I shouldn't be surprised):