Thursday, 22 January 2015

A Mother Goose Odyssey

Me, Elizabeth and Rita after the event
Last week I helped the co founder of Seven Stories, Elizabeth Hammill to give a talk at Explore, the lifelong learning centre in Newcastle upon Tyne. Elizabeth told the story of the creation of Over the Hills and Far Away, which was selected as one of Seven Stories' 50 best culturally diverse children's books (see the Diverse Voices List). My part in the event focused firstly on my contribution to the book but also on my empathy for the importance of representing the diverse society that we live in today in books that we make and share with children.

Elizabeth's review of the day...
"How do you capture the excitement, discoveries, adventure (and hard work too) involved in the journey undertaken to make a collection of nursery rhymes from across the English speaking world illustrated by 77 international artists - established and new? 

We had two and a half hours to do just this with a wonderfully responsive group of students at Explore in Newcastle. 

Together we all went on a Mother Goose Odyssey - unfolding the story of the creation of Over the Hills and Far Away in words and pictures, and of our roles as researcher, collector, compiler, artist finder - rather like an exhibition curator - and as a new artist winning a competition to create a double spread for the book. It was a new team experience for both of us - invigorating and fun. Perhaps we'll be able to do it again!"

A snippet of an event attendee's review...
"Together they took us on the journey through the production, publication and launching of the book. The amount of diligent work, as well as the inspired thinking in the development of this book, was inspiring. I think my words echo the thoughts of all present. A wonderful session. Thank you."

Thank you to Explore and Rita for organising a wonderful event full of enthusiastic students.

Holly and Elizabeth x

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