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“When I design a character, it’s very important to me that a four year old can reasonably draw that character… I want those characters to become so alive that kids create their own comics, their own books, using my characters.” – Mo Willems
This week we used Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny as inspiration for the second project in our process art series. Mo Willems took photographs around his neighborhood and used those as the background for his hand drawn characters. Reading Rockets has a great video interview with Mo Willems about his work. He also has a fun website with a lot of resources for kids and adults. To make sure that young preschoolers would feel successful with this project, the expectation was simply to use a black and white photograph as a background for artwork.
- Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems (We also had Knuffle Bunny Too and Knuffle Bunny Free as examples)
- Digital camera
This is a multistep project so I would suggest completing it in two days! Spend the first day taking the kids on a walk to collect your pictures. I would encourage you to allow the children to take their own pictures for this project. If you have a large group, you can separate into smaller groups and have them take turns with the camera. Write the kids’ names down in order so when you upload the pictures there is less confusion. They should also be involved in the process of transferring the pictures onto the computer so they have an understanding of how it works. Print each photo as a full page in black and white.
The second day is focused on drawing. Since we aren’t using a computer for this part of the process like Mo Willems does, the kids can use chalk directly on the photograph. The example in the picture is “a kite stuck in a tree with a yacht at the bottom!”
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