For World Book Day I was at Hillside School in Dorset. One of the activities I did with every class was to ask the children to name a favourite animal and then I drew part of that creature on to a large sheet of paper, slowly building a new beastie from the animal parts. This is based on the Litterbug creature from my New Forest Friends & The Litterbugs book, an animal made up of bits of insects and a crab.
It’s fun great to do, and extremely engaging, but it’s not something I can spend ages on in class – time is limited so the drawings are very quick doodles. As a consequence Hillside asked if I would draw up each class’s creations in colour so they could have them framed and displayed. A lovely touch, and a great excuse for me to draw the beasts in more detail.
But then COVID-19 happened, the schools closed, and the children were sent home. Unperturbed, Hillside has now decided to approach the problem creatively. They’re going to put the creatures on their website and now use them as a basis for some home-learning activities, such as getting the children to write about their class's creation. So instead of me feeling despondent that the children were going to miss out, now all the children will be re-engaging with what we did on World Book Day.