Monday, September 21, 2009


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.


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

  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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