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Journey

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I'd never heard of Journey. My mom heard about it somewhere, though, and she borrowed it from the library. I borrowed it from her. And I was completely enchanted by it. What emotions do you think the girl is feeling? How can we tell? (This gives an opportunity to talk about body language. Younger children might want to show you physically by copying the girl’s body language and showing the expression they imagine on her face)

Have a go at staging some of the spreads in this book as tableaux. The image showing the king throwing the crayon overboard works well for this, as does the scene in which the girl steals the bird. This is a wordless book told beautifully through the illustrations. A girl sits forlornly in a sepia world, ignored by her busy family. Spying a spot of colour in the shape of a red crayon, she draws a door through which she escapes to a green forest, illuminated by sparkling lights and blue lanterns, threaded through with a stream which leads her to the next stage of her journey, once she has drawn a red boat. She sails into the centre of a huge castle and, from there, draws new forms of transport so that she can explore this fantastic world. Then – disaster – she loses the red crayon. Will she be able to return home or even continue her journey?LOVE that. Especially because, despite the fact that the journey in this book is by that of a young girl, it still felt very much like a personal journey for the illustrator. So reading his bio at the end didn't surprise me at all. This book really is his journey. Executed in watercolour, a demanding medium that requires a delicate balance between control and ‘letting go’, the resulting artwork is gently memorable yet utterly compelling. Look at the picture showing the girl falling through the air. If you were holding a crayon while you went for a walk, jumped, or turned somersaults, what kind of marks would you make? During PE, explore different types of body movements and imagine the lines and shapes you would create. For example: what would happen if this object…grew to be enormous? …had magic powers? …wanted a friend? …came to life? …belonged to somebody else (the queen, a lion, a visitor from outer space)?

An imaginative adventure story whose elaborate illustrations inspire wonder, careful examination and multiple reads.” Make a word bank that includes words you could use to describe the people, places and events in the story. Use the title as the starting point for your own story. What might your own story about a ‘Journey’ include? Start this activity with some guided visualisation. Give each child a coloured crayon or pencil. Use a variety of colours – one colour per child. To begin, have them hold the coloured pencil and think about the things that colour reminds them of. Now invite them to imagine in their ‘mind’s-eye’ (like television pictures running in their head) that they are at home in their room. It’s a dull day. Everyone else is busy doing their own thing. Imagine that you look down at your crayon. You have an idea! You go over to the wall and draw a door with your crayon. You open the door and step through into another world. They must not use any props, but instead use only themselves (eg – two people making an arch between them may be the cage which the girl is trapped in).

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Read The Pencil by Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman, and imagine your pencil has come to life. Let it dance over coloured and textured papers to explore different kinds of mark making. What happens when you press harder, or hardly press at all? Think of sketching as taking a pencil for a walk, and try drawing from observation in a way that lets the pencil have some fun. Hold the pencil lightly and let it make some interesting marks. Extension: Try the ‘Diving into Mastery’ challenges. There are three levels of challenge here; try the simplest level and move on only if the level of challenge is appropriate. Predictions, retellings in role, maps, posters, a travel diary, instructions and a story sequel. Length: Taken as a whole, his illustrations provide a rich and memorable reading experience that will inspire much in the way of thinking and talking, and make a wonderful starting point for creative projects of all kinds. 1 | Playing picture detectives The illustrations were created using watercolour paints. Can you try to paint using a similar style?

Look at the picture showing the girl in her bedroom. Can you see things that make an appearance later in the book? Sometimes ideas for stories come easily, other times they need a bit of help.trying to save a vibrant lilac bird which has been imprisoned. Disaster strikes when, having freed the bird, she is caught by angry guards who throw away her There’s also a fun paper lantern project that I put together for the good folks at All the Wonders that your students might enjoy. Bring a red rug into school (the sort you can roll up and carry under one arm) and use it for story sharing in small groups with an adult helper (perhaps in secret locations around the school). Invite children to sit on the rug and talk about the special places they would like to go.

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