Monday, March 20, 2017

Workshop for Educators: The Art and Design of a Picture Book

Dear Kim,

Saturday, March 25th at the University of Scranton, a small group of children's book writers will meet with educators to discuss mentor texts, writing for children, and the power of the picture book.

What am I saying? You already know this. You'll be there presenting with Linda Oatman High. Your session about the creation of character is sure to be lively with you and Linda at the helm.

Interested in signing up for the program? Email Donna Salva at DonnaSalva@yahoo.com 

I wish I could see the two of you together, but I will be next door talking about my favorite artistic form: the Picture Book with one of my favorite picture book creators, Lindsay Barrett George.

Lindsay and I met yesterday to finalize our talk. Do you even want to guess the number of times I shouted, "I know the perfect picture book for that!" when Lindsay shared design elements like gutters, endpapers, or typography? It was a lot. I was very interruptive...

Just like David Ezra Stein's INTERRUPTING CHICKEN 
(I couldn't resist one more interrupting title.)


We used Megan Dowd Lambert's READING PICTURE BOOKS WITH CHILDREN as our anchor for this presentation. I talk about this book all the time. It's such a gem. In it, Megan explores picture book design, and invites educators to use the visual components of the whole book during read alouds.


Lindsay and I created a presentation that also highlights the importance of picture book design. Our focus is on how the design of the picture book controls the experience based on how the child considers what he/she sees. Like, Megan's model, we also explore ways educators can use the picture book and its visual elements in the classroom. We have hands on activities to share. We also have MOUNTAINS of picture books to show as examples.

One of the elements that I can't wait to talk about is style. We'll discuss ways illustrators like Paul O. Zelinsky, Denise Fleming, and Jerry Pinkney select styles for books.

Think style in Paul's RAPUNZEL or Paul's style in Z is for MOOSE. How does each story's tone reflect Paul's style? Or the style reflect the tone?




Think style in Denise Fleming's IN THE TALL, TALL GRASS and GO, SHAPES, GO! and SHOUT! SHOUT IT OUT! Can we see "voice" visually?


Think style in Jerry Pinkney's THE LION AND THE MOUSE and LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD. (Think about every Jerry Pinkney book. That is a day well spent!)


Can't wait to talk books with teachers and librarians on Saturday! Now back to packing up all those picture books.


Much Love,
Alison