Happy Birthday Suse MacDonald - March 3
Alphabatics. She said in an interview with California Readers, "I like working with paper. I usually do my books in collage. I like the feel of it. I can cut out the pieces for a whole illustration and arrange them before I have to commit by dry mounting them down." Early in her career, MacDonald worked as an illustrator of science text books. But, after attending two art schools, "her focus shifted and her work became less realistic and bolder and more colorful. It began to look like it belonged in a children's book." (susemacdonald.com).
Right from the moment I acquired Suse MacDonald's books I knew I wanted my children to experience collage. My youngest son was drawn to her book, Fish, Swish! Splash, Dash!: Counting Round and Round. I think he liked it because of the brightly colored fish and the cut-out pages that were fun to peek through. I appreciated the book because the cut-out pages were arranged in such a way that they created fish with beautiful markings. In the YouTube video below she said that the illustration idea for the book came by accident when, "I cut a fish out of colored paper and I had a pile of papers on my desk. Then, I went to answer the phone and put my cut out fish paper on the pile of papers. When I came back I saw that there was a design. I thought, 'wouldn't that be neat to have a book that is made up from the pages behind."
I still think the idea is worth sharing because I did spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to make a foldable book that could lend itself to be "cut-out" and reveal images below. Here is a quick video (sorry the images turned out a little blurry, but you'll get the idea) of what I did:
|The wheels in my daughter's head were really spinning!|
|At the end of the five minutes of designing their collage and the one minute of adhering their numbers, I told them they could have one minute to add details with a marker.|
|My daughter was very pleased with her "crazy bull". I was impressed that she used 3s for horns, upside-down 9s for eyes, a sideways 8 for a nose, a zero for a mouth, and 7s for legs!|
|Here is a close-up. Watch out -- this bull is blowing steam out of its nose!|
|My son said before he started the challenge, "I can't do this!" Yet, he was very proud of his moose!|
1. Suse MacDonald's Website
2. Bios - Children's Literature Network, Scholastic
3. Text Interview - California Readers
4. Activity Guides from Suse MacDonald - Look Whooo's Counting, Alphabatics, Nanta's Lion, Sea Shapes + More available from her "For Educators" Page on her website.