A Cool Review for Shine in the Guardian - Whew!

***Longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2014***

Shine by Candy Gourlay
'A precious and important novel that also explores exile from neighbours, family and country. The book is about reinvention and the faces we present to the world, whether it be in person, on a postcard or on the internet, all wrapped up in an exciting and perfectly paced story with a disturbing and dramatic climax.'
Philip Ardagh, The Guardian
Read the review

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Awesome Art by Children


Awe is just a little word - but it captures how I feel about the art made by children.

I'm not much for decorations and bric-a-brac but I do cover the walls of my house with art made by my children (and their friends) over the years. To me, these are more precious than anything I could buy in the shops. There's an incomparable energy to them -- and life is magic when seen through the eyes of children. Here are a few examples from my walls:

My two sons playing ping pong. The artist is disputed. Both sons claim they drew it.

Wonderful 3D art by my neighbour, Hugo, when he was four.

Batman! 

Spiderman!

Recently, I visited Grafton Primary School near Holloway.

The minute I saw the giant snake winding its way along the length of the ceiling, I knew I was in for a treat. A lovely enthusiastic teacher showed me around (so sorry, I couldn't find the piece of paper where I scribbled down her name). I could tell from the members of staff I met and the children that there was a real passion for art at Grafton. Apparently the school even holds after school art sessions for parents and children.

Giant snake in Reception

More of the giant snake.


In one classroom, the ceiling was hung with sailing ships.

Art by the photocopier
I would love to have some of this art on my wall!


Art is such a feature of the school that one of the teachers
made this to introduce a new lesson

I think this might have been for RE




A map of London
One room was a rainforest of strange creatures

Is that a bird combined with a squirrel?
What about this Reindeer-Giraffe-Bird?
An Ostrich Zebra and an Eagle Lizard

A Tiger Snake and Giraffe Butterfly!
A Cat Fish.

There was even a Green Man in the corner of one corridor.

I love these framed self portraits. 

It reminded me of FRAMED by Frank Cottrell Boyce, in which during a flood, precious works from the National Gallery are temporarily moved to safety in a grey, grey Welsh town. When the townspeople inveigle the National Gallery to allow them to see the art, it has a magical effect on the whole town.

I felt privileged to have had a peek at the treasure trove on the walls of the school. I walk past Grafton almost everyday. Who knew?

Afternote:

Knowing my love for children's art, my son recently sent me this link to paintings by the artist Telmo Piper recreating his childhood drawings.

Mind blowing!

What Telmo's childhood rendition of a snail would look like in real life. See more
Afternote 2:

And it was really, really nice to meet such happy teachers. Like these guys:

Follow the blog by email!