Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Colin Thompson - An Inspiration..

Here at Muritai School we are in the midst of preparing for our bi-annual school production. This production is based on a book by author and illustrator Colin Thompson called "The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley."
I am fairly familiar with Colin Thompson's work as I have used quite a few of his amazing illustrations in years gone by as a starting point for story writing. Our production theme has provided me with a great opportunity to reacquaint myself with his work. I have been reminded what an inspiration his work can be to children who struggle with reading and writing.

This week in The Learning Den we have had seven of Colin's books on display. I haven't purposely included them in my programme but have left them out as an experiment. The books made their own way in to our sessions almost immediately as the children were instantly drawn to the fantastic cover illustrations on entering the room.
These books have certainly hooked some of the more reluctant book enthusiasts this week and have been a great way of showing the children that finding an author you like is sometimes like discovering gold!

A large proportion of the children that came to the Learning Den this week asked if we could look at a book. I made no demand on them to read to me. Initially we discussed the front cover and then scanned a couple of pages for words that matched the "ar" spelling pattern that we have been concentrating on this week. We linked the book to the author and talked a little about the school production and then I closed the book. All the children asked if we could continue reading the book. At this point I asked if they wanted to read or to be read to and most asked if we could share the reading.
Colin's stories are thought provoking and humorous and suitable for a wide age range (even adults will love them). His books will still engage children who can read very little as they will find the illustrations fascinating. Also, there is a tiny picture of 'Max the dog' to spot within many of the illustrations, a fantastic way to focus those who struggle to concentrate.
If you haven't experienced any of Colin's wonderful work before, check out his website, it's well worth a visit:-

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