Tuesday, 21 May 2013
Come Away From the Water Shirley
We are joining in with a whole school focus over the next half term. We will be using the book 'Come Away From the Water Shirley' by John Burningham, and the painting The Bathers at Asnieres by Seurat. I have been doing some planning this afternoon during my PPA time and, as part of the way we are going to use the book, we need to look at Shirley's part and the parent's part. As I was separating my photos into two folders to make it easier, I flicked between two of them quickly, and it struck me that the set of parent pictures make a good little animation. I love John Burningham's books, both for their illustrations and for the deceptively simple stories. There is so much going on in this book, that can be explored by all age groups, which is what makes it a good one for a whole school project. Whilst looking for information about the author I have just discovered this book about him which looks very tempting. I did an adult education course about book illustration about twelve years ago and lots of it has stuck with me. One of the things the tutor talked about was the rhythm created by the illustrations in a book, using devices such as colour and monochrome, contrasting viewpoints, the use of the white of the page, and other things that I can't remember! This book has a full colour painting for each of Shirley's pages, illustrating her rich imaginative day of pirate play, while the parent pages are simple lightly coloured sketches of them, against a washed out white sky and beach, not moving from their deck chairs, having cups of tea, a pipe (the Dad), reading the paper, (the Dad again) and knitting (not the Dad!) They so brilliantly convey the boringness and small mindedness of some adults, and the boundless imagination of children. Can't wait to get started. We are leading into the work with the pirate kidnapping of one of our soft toys. There will then be a message in a bottle sent to the class and a series of clues which will lead us to the toy. The toy has actually had a great time reading pirate stories, and is going to share his favourite one with us. We are going to look at the illustrations of Shirley's day first, and make up our own stories using these, and will move on to the rest of the book.