Friday, June 12, 2009

busy bookish bee

It's been a hectic couple of weeks, all revolving around books and bookmaking. There's moaning about the death of print, but the tangible satisfactions evoked by the simple turning of a page will not perish. Not in my world!

I had good news about Rickshaw Girl, a book that has brought me many connections and inspirations. The publisher sold translation rights in India! This doesn't mean much in the way of money for me, but more importantly, way more readers will become familiar with the story. Very cool.

This is the title page from the book.

I was also interviewed by the New York State Reading Association for the Charlotte Award, again about Rickshaw Girl. Stay tuned for the posting on their excellent blog about book creators.

Last week I was at King Middle School for a book making session with Marcia Salem's ELL class. These English Language Learner students have been studying marine life in Casco Bay. I helped them create accordion books featuring their drawings with pertinent questions and answers about their given sea critter. First session: construction. Cutting, folding, no blood, please! Here Marcia supervises some slicing.

Second session: making potato prints of their creature. This was an inky, chaotic, but fun mess. The idea was to make a repeatable image that could decorate the cover of the book, along with rubber stamping letters. Here are the ones that were done in session three:


They made great use of design, stamping, collage, hand-lettering, and patterning. Great work!

Meanwhile, the zine workshop I did with some sixth grade teachers produced very inspired results. Many went into this with some trepidation: "I'm not an artist," several said. I am deaf to this excuse. I believe everybody has a creative well ready for tapping. We just need the time and space to do it. Sure enough, each of them produced a unique and compelling zine. Here's the collection:

Topics ranged from censorship to adoption, lyrical to poetic, graphic to subtle. They documented talent, domestic narratives, and field work. I came away completely thrilled. I hope they will find some purpose for zine-making in the classroom while identifying with students who are finding their voices.

I dashed back to the island for a spirited session of book making at my own table. I hosted Peaks Island's Girl Scout Troop 1977 as they made two books for their scout leaders. More glue sticks, rubber stamps, and fun papers.

No stoppin' girl power.

This binge of bookish creativity was capped by the news that Nicole d'Entremont's book has been published! Nicole taught the recent session of Sudden Fiction here on Peaks Island and I was privileged to be part of her class. Even better, she asked me to illustrate the jacket of a book she has been writing for many years.

Can't wait to read the book! Congratulations, Nicole!

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