"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Thursday, November 9, 2017

First graders explore the work of and receive a visit from Kevin Hawkes, oh, and they produce some pretty amazing art.

Kevin Hawkes visited with our first graders today! It was an extremely exciting day for these students who have been reading his books and learning about his art. 

This post is chock full. Part one is the visit. Part Two is the art created after the visit. Part three is the project and art created prior to the visit. Choose your own adventure!

Part the First: During the visit
Kevin talked about the artists who inspired him, like Maxfield Parish, and how his skies have influenced Kevin's skies. He shared that it is important to have favorite illustrators and authors and to learn about art from them.

He showed the students one of his sketch books and how he does many character sketches until he draws the one that is just right.

Kevin also did some drawing with the students during the visit, imparting hints and tricks for the students own art.

Check out this fan art that appeared later in the day:

He talked about creating harmony with lines flowing in the same direction.

He explained that shapes are really important in his work.

The students learned that where you place eyes on a face can make the character look older or younger.

He shared the secret of creating cute drawings. (No spoiler alerts here!)

He read his newest book Dogosaurus Rex, a collaboration with Anna Staniszewski.

I think its important that during his visit he let students know that each book takes the hard work of a team of people -- the author, artist, editor, art director, publisher, printer, etc. I love that he remind them of the importance of working with and collaborating with others.

Kevin also shared the publishing process, that it goes from sketches to a dummy book to revisions with an editor and art director to printers sheets to a fold and gather and then final hard cover of the book. He also shared how exciting it still is to see his name on a book.

He finished with this great advice: If you need a new story, start with a line and see where it takes you.

Part the Second: After the Visit

The students were back in the library for their regular classes during the late morning and afternoon. I decided to include time to both hear what they learned and to show what they learned.

The students used Voicethread to share what they learned during the visit. Have a listen, it's pretty cool stuff.

The students used the collaborative drawing process he used during the visit to draw with partners and show what they learned. The first person drew two lines and the partner finished the drawing based upon what he or she saw in those two lines. It's pretty amazing. You have to just look at a few:

Part the Third: Prior to the Visit

Along with reading books illustrated and/or written by Kevin Hawkes, the students explored aspects of his art. For this project, the students used the book My Little Sister Ate One Hare.

After reading the book, where a little sister eats some very interesting things, the students collectively came up with funny objects to eat and words that would rhyme with those objects, here's a sample:

The next time they came to library they chose an object from the list and created a Kevin Hawkes-style new page for the book. I think the illustrations show that they really looked at Kevin Hawkes' art. Have a look at a few of their new book pages!

This has been a fun adventure!

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