Friday, October 7, 2011

The Art of Bookmaking

LC on the subway platform, spotting the train...we were heading to the Children's Museum of Manhattan for The Art of Bookmaking Festival.


They had 4 tables to visit at the CMOM event. LC was immediately drawn to the Eric Carle table featuring one of her favorite books The Very Hungry Caterpillar:


The blank paper was folded up accordion style, at this table. Similar to Eric Carle's picture books...such as The Grouchy Ladybug, which LC also liked a lot. Carle has a unique illustration style...hand-painting, cutting and layering, using a collage technique. So, they had scissors, glue, lots of different solid papers...various patterns, colors...as well as some shredded paper. LC was drawn to the shiny paper and instructed me to cut out 3 animals, with no guide: "a pink horse" (good luck with that shape), "a blue pig" (close enough) and a copper "caterpillar" with gold feet (nailed that). LC glued the animals to the white paper. Then, LC decided to glue "mud" for the pig, "grass" and "flowers" for the horse and a "pink bush" for the caterpillar.



Then, we headed over to the next table...where we found the picture book Anansi the Spider.



At this table they had a lot of stamps, each with a unique symbol. A nice variety of symbols...and 3 large pads of ink - purple, blue and red. LC was stamping away on the little sheets of colorful paper, having a blast...and she drew with some markers too (each sheet had 3 holes punched into it...so one could put the pages together...weave a colorful string through the holes and tie it up, to bind the book).





LC was thrilled to see The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss sitting on the next table.



This project was above her head, it was for older kids...it was intended to be a "flip book", they said...but not a book that appears to be animated when you flip the pages. They meant more like one of the books she has at home...where you have illustrations on each page, a similar size of body...and all the pages are cut into 3 sections...so you can flip the top (head), middle (torso) and/or bottom (legs) portion of the page...to create a different creature. They felt the kids could sketch some of the Dr. Seuss characters they printed out as examples...or create their own creatures. I suppose it would be best if the pages were precut into 3 sections first, before one begins to draw...just to keep the drawing even...in terms of three portions to flip and match up with other pages properly. But none of this concerned LC, she just happily drew lines and circles with the crayons and told me "I make my own flipbook with circles."



The last table featured a book called Go Away, Big Green Monster!



I think they were supposed to make monsters out of the black paper and decorate them with shapes cut out of the colorful foam, using safety scissors, add some raised gem and star stickers, happy faces...and glue on flowers and sparkly things...and write their names with letter foam. None of that mattered to LC...once she saw the stickers nothing else was in the room...she is very serious about her stickers...please do not disturb LC.



She was still working on it, when it was time to leave (staff had to take a lunch break, so they asked everyone to leave...we went to explore the rest of the museum). Thankfully, we found a bench afterwards to sit on, so she could stick a few remaining stickers on her yellow foam. They had no chairs in the bookmaking session...1 1/2 hours we were standing up, hunched over the tables.



LC was spending so much time on her sticker art...I decided to get in touch with the little kid inside of me...and I played around with the black paper, shiny shape cutouts, alphabet letters and glue.



We did many things afterwards...but she very much enjoyed one workshop in particular...they had mural wall painting, using hands and fingers. They focused on mixing the colors red and yellow to create orange.



I told a staff member the significance of palm trees...and she drew a palm tree for LC, which was nice.



Thanks to the smocks and the washable paint...LC could get as messy as she wanted and then we cleaned up easily at the sink and enjoyed the rest of our day.