Monday, May 09, 2011


Well as I mentioned in my post from last night, Harriet made a book for her friend Zoe P's birthday on the weekend. I had thought we were going to make a blank sketchbook like the one shown in this tutorial video, but Harriet had other ideas. She wanted to write the whole book herself (control issues!). James attempted to give her a little forewarning about things like planning the story, working out how many pages she had, etc. but Harry would have none of that. And James forgot to factor in the wonderful, spontaneous serendiptious nature of childhood. However many pages are left, well, that's where the story ends!

Harriet told us she was deliberately going to keep it very simple, with just one sentence on each page "Because I want Zoe to learn to read and I think she'll do better if it's a simple story with just one sentence per page". She also included a 'this book belongs to' page on the inside front cover which I thought was a cute touch.

It's about fairies of course. Cue groan from the parents, but she loves it. Where the fairies have magic wands in their hands, she used glitter glue to represent the fairy magic in use. And you'll notice that when the bear is opened, the little lines on the right hand side of the illustrations are magic wands - there appears one there for the bear too (because he is a fairy bear he can do magic as well). The protagonist is, incredibly, called Zoe P. Woot! The P is a mirror image which just totally adds to the cuteness factor. Harry drew all the pictures with real concentration, which is a first for her (normally artwork is only transitory in importance, fulfilling a need in her play rather than being a process in itself, eg: making tickets for a show, or writing name tags for school).

She was concerned that it might not be finished in time for her party, and when she realised that not finishing it that night meant it would have to wait until Monday to be given (because there was no time before the party the next day to complete any craft), she surprised us both by redoubling her efforts to get the whole book completed before bedtime.

As someone who has not been able to ever post crafty type objects or projects from ym child, please allow me the indulgence of posting each page of her book for your reading enjoyment.

Not to be left out of the picture, Ted is also on a creative spin at the moment. He loves to lie down on his belly in the playroom and draw in his pad. As you can see, adornment with a tiara and necklace assists the creative process. He is quite methodical in his drawing - in the first photo you can see he's drawing his circles with scribbles in the middle, almost like a cat's eye.

In this page Harriet drew the three 'e's in burgundy in the middle of the page for Ted and then he drew the ones on the outside. I didn't even see this page being drawn, so it was a lovely surprise to come across in the middle of the pad yesterday. Harriet didn't start writing an 'H' until she was about two and a half, so this is a pretty early appreciation of the alphabet I think.

He also loves to do his little spiral/circle thing, then say who it is a drawing of (for example tonight we had "Papa in Newtown"), then either a couple of long lines or another circle and then a scribble at the bottom of that and the giggling pronouncement of "bottom". Other features come into play as well, but I can't remember right now. I took a ridiculously long video of the two of them drawing yesterday but it's too big to upload to YouTube unfortunately.

When we came back from Zoe's party the two children literally spent an hour or more running around in circles in the glorious late afternoon autumn sun. It was Mothers Day, so I could have pushed for an excursion somewhere to take advantage of the incredible light, but instead I just sat back, took a few snaps in the backyard and enjoyed the sound of giggling, thumping toddler footsteps, Happy Birthday songs and the love that comes when you fill latex with helium. Happy Mothers Day? You bet.


Anonymous said...

I love this book. Best. Present. Ever. xxx

Lou said...

Awesome story Harry! What a great thing to have captured for prosperity Cass.