When Rebecca Gerlings, the illustrator of DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE, told me she was going to be one of the featured artists at this year’s The Big Draw Epsom, I was excited and wanted to learn more about the event and her role.
What I learned is that The Big Draw is a big deal! The Big Draw is a “a visual literacy charity that promotes the universal language of drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention” and, according to their website, since their launch in 2000, over four million people have participated. That makes them the world’s largest drawing festival! This year the festival ran from 1–31 October, and involved over 400,000 people from over 25 countries!
The 2018 theme was “play” and in Epsom activities included live cellists, chalk drawing on pavements, abstract art in the square, and readings and workshops in the library. Visitors also had the chance to meet local artists, art educators and designers – including picture book author-illustrator Rebecca Gerlings, illustrator of Diva Delores and the Opera House Mouse!
Here’s a round up of Rebecca’s part of the day:
Rebecca read Diva Delores and the Opera House Mouse, then lead a puppet-making workshop where children could take home their very own Delores and Fernando.
She cut 40 templates for both characters, snipped 40 woolly mouse tails, punched 80 mouse ears, and dotted 120 sticky eyes ahead of the event.
The Fernando puppets were made by rolling each brown sugar-paper template into a little cone and securing it with sticky tape. A pair of ears and eyes and a woolly tail later and – voila-la-la! – Fernando!
Once the kids had completed their puppets they popped them on stage for their debut performances!
All 40 cute Fernando puppets found new homes with their little makers. And in a flurry of feathers and glittery makery so did all 40 Deloreses!
It was such a smash that when the templates ran out a half hour before the end of the workshop the resourceful kiddos stayed to make cute characters out of the cotton wool balls meant for Delores’ wigs!
Doesn’t that sound like a wonderful day! And perhaps it will inspire you to grab a copy of DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE to read with your kiddos. And, afterwards, maybe you, too, can create puppets and put on a show! Happy reading and creating, all!