School Program Story by Maria Parenti-Baldey
When Brisbane author Yvonne Mes introduced herself, she had some 100 year 3, 4 and 5 students putting their hands up wanting the glamorous life of a Picture Book author — a three story mansion with giant playground, red Ferrari and private jet. One young man was so convinced, he wanted to meet her bodyguard.
As Mes let them down gently, she explained to create her glamorous story, she had to use her ‘imagination’. She had nurtured her ‘imagination’ through story telling and reading lots of books. She would read about 80 picture books a week. She loved being transported somewhere else through stories.
When writing a story, the students learned to always ask the ‘What if? question.
‘What if you fell over or your underwear fell down? What happens next? And then what would happen… and then what would happen next… and then?’
The students learned that Mes’s Sidney Nolan is part of an Australian picture book series. During her research, she tried to find a connection between Sidney Nolan - painter, and Ned Kelly - bushranger. She showed students how the illustrator left little clue ideas in the illustrations after studying Nolan’s paintings. Some of the symbolic clues showed the three stripes on Nolan’s forehead as war paint, his paint pallet represented a shield — making him a warrior artist. Mes’s book is also on Virgin’s airlines’ inflight audio and I anticipate will become an Australian favourite in the classroom. www.yvonnemes.com
Maria Parenti-Baldey, primary teacher, writer, amateur photographer and blogger. www.bigsisterblogs.com
Blogging Team 2017