Last Saturday I had an amazing afternoon at House of Illustration, running a family workshop based on ALPHONSE, THAT IS NOT OK TO DO! After a quick reading, we did some giant collaborative adventure drawing – just like Natalie and Alphonse do in the book. Highlights included Natalie and Alphonse on their five-wheeled motorbike:
Squirrel and treehouse worlds joined by ladders, and a majestic giant bee
featuring cup-holder, chips-holder, sound system, umbrella and MANY SHOES.
Next it was time for monster puppets: here are just a few of one family’s horde.
We started with corrugated paper finger puppets, with all manner of multiple heads, horns, tongues, wings and other appendages.
There was even one with eyes on accordion stalks.
It’s interesting running events at House of Illustration because the great facilities and unusually long workshops mean you can plan more extended, open-ended activities, so I’d prepared various kinds of puppets to experiment with. There were accordion-beasts inspired by Chinese dragon stick-puppets, of which this was definitely the longest.
And this one has a wonderful expression.
There were also puppets with moving wings, mouths, arms or eyebrows made using split pins, but I seem to have no pictures of those. At least I can show you this brilliant new thing: a box-mouth monster with a monster baby inside, operated by hidden lolly stick!Some people even got around to building theatres – I bet some ace plays were staged once they got them home…
Yesterday I put up an exhibition at Pickled Pepper, Crouch End’s specialist children’s bookshop. I framed eleven of the screenprints I made for my first picturebook, The Girl with the Parrot on her Head, and they’ll stay on display all summer, until August 31st. It’s great to have a chance to show the artwork, especially in Pickled Pepper’s lovely event space.
The first week of the exhibition coincides with the Crouch End Festival (5th-14th June) so there are lots of other things to see and do if you visit then, including a Girl with the Parrot on her Head reading and craft workshop on Saturday 13th June.
The pictures are hand-made screenprints, and prints from the same editions (so almost the same as the framed/published prints) will be for sale. If you’d like to read more about the illustrations, I wrote a guest blog for Walker about making the book.
An update: now there’s a Girl with the Parrot on her Head window too!
Yesterday at House of Illustration, in a workshop I’d been scheming about for months, a group of children created a whole new system based on Isabel’s cardboard boxes in The Girl with the Parrot on her Head. I’ll post more about this workshop but just wanted to share the giant mural right away, as it made me so happy to see the system so brilliantly reinvented (to enlarge, click on the image above and click again when it reappears).
I was quite thrown by the appearance last week of The Girl with the Parrot on her Head as a REAL BOOK – there seem to be a lot of milestones in this process but this one made me feel quite giddy. Here’s Walker’s picture of the three editions:
The book will be published on February 5th by Walker, Albin Michel (France) and Aladin (Germany), and a year later by Candlewick (USA). It’s amazing to me, and funny, to see the translations and the differences between them – lamely I am having to get friends to help me with the French and German, but both seem to have been really nicely done. Yikes it is just really exciting.
The German “Enten, Hula Hoop” box necessitated this drawing for twitter:
And a most excellent response too.