Monday, September 21, 2009

CAN YOU MAKE A SCARY FACE? by Jan Thomas


I love watercolors and painting with kids. Did a tiny bit of it last year in the library
but not enough. (Would love to have an easel for tempera but am considering the downside to this....) Anyway, when I saw this post by Bill last year, I decided that we had to paint more in the library in 2009-2010. Young children's art--especially around favorite book characters--is just a happy thing. So, I was all ready to just copy the idea Lori that Bill shared.

As I was taking out the paints, I realized that CAN YOU
MAKE A SCARY FACE? would be a great book for the kids to paint around. As you all know, I am a HUGE Jan Thomas fan and decided that being surrounded by Jan Thomas characters could only
be a good thing. I remembered something Mo Willems said in his new DVD and in a Scholastic Interview,

"I look for simplicity of line, partially to focus on the emotions of the book and partially because I want the main character of each book to be easily copied by a 5 year old. My books aren't made simply to be read; I want them to be played."

As with pretty much anything Mo Willems says, this makes total sense to me--when kids can draw a character, they can do so much with the character in terms of thinking, creating storylines, etc. So, I have been keeping my eye out for those characters--the ones kids can draw. The new character in CAN YOU MAKE A SCARY FACE see
med to be a perfect one to try! (I am thinking the RHYMING DUST BUNNIES would be fun too!)
So, we gave it a try. It was an option/choice during library time for 1st and 2nd grades and about 1/2 of the kids chose to draw and paint. They had a ball and I had a great time watching them. Really, is there anything like watching 6 and 7 year olds paint? And to listen to their conversations while they are painting? Always such a happy time for them.

So, now I am surrounded by many, many renditions of this great new character. The paintings are hanging on a wall by a door and a few people have already commented on them--if they don't comment, they certainly can't help but smile as they walk past. I may never take them down.



2 comments:

  1. That is a riot! Such fun. May I come paint in the library, too?

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  2. Just Fabulous! Painting and Art in the library. Currently reading Interactive Writing and they say this..."children's artwork and indpendent writing are important aspects of the print display because they are a way of celebrating individual students' accomplishments." "drawing and art make the product more readable and attractive and add new meaning." I wonder if a classroom could interactive write a caption for your work?

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