Sunday, June 7, 2015

Happy Birthday, Barry Gott - June 8

Happy Birthday, Barry Gott - June 8

The sports world is roaring about Cleveland. The Cavaliers are in the NBA Finals and LeBron James is ready to "take the dinosaur by the horns." The people of Northeast Ohio are #ALLIN with hopes that the Cavs will stomp all over the Golden State Warriors to become NBA Champs.

With all the talk about the Cavs I didn't want you to miss out on the other Cleveland sports story this week. It is Barry Gott's birthday! He lives in Cleveland and is the amazing illustrator of the popular Dino-Sports series of picture books. So let's hear it for Cleveland, sports, dinosaurs, and good books! It's a week to celebrate!

Barry Gott is the illustrator of over 30 books for children including Dino-Basketball by Lisa Wheeler, What Do Teachers Do (After You Leave School)? by Anne Bowen, and Holler Loudly by Cynthia Leitich Smith.  Barry loved drawing when he was a young boy. "I spent my childhood nurturing a love of art and drawing which lets you have worlds of fun when you can't catch a football to save your life." (Bedford City School District).  His father also nurtured Barry's love of drawing. "My dad would bring home reams of misprinted paint can labels from his paint factory. I had an endless supply of one-sided drawing paper." (ILA). Barry went on to study Fine Art at Bowling Green State University and after he graduated he became a humorous writer and illustrator at American Greetings, where he worked for ten years. In 2001, he started illustrating children's books with Patches Lost and Found by Steven Kroll, Be Brown! by Barbara Bottner, and Horace Splattly: The Cupcaked Crusader by Lawrence David and he has been busy making books ever since.

His most popular books are part of the Dino-Sports series which started in 2007 with Dino-Hockey. He recently posted this message and image on Instagram:


I love that he said the series is at "8 books and growing"! My two boys absolutely loved reading the first seven Dino-Sports books. (And we can't wait for the eighth one, Dino-Swimming. It will be released October 1, 2015!!)

After we read, Dino-Boarding for the fifth-time I thought about an old skateboard that I hoped was still in the garage. I thought it would be something we could use to celebrate Barry Gott's birthday. Surprisingly, I found the skateboard right away and it was in worse shape than I remembered.

Activity idea for DINO-BOARDING by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
We were going to transform this old skateboard into a DINO-BOARD!
Activity idea for DINO-BOARDING by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
My boys were excited about this project. They worked together to remove the wheels.
Activity idea for DINO-BOARDING by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
Then, they removed as much of the Lightning McQueen decal as they could.
Activity idea for DINO-BOARDING by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
My youngest helped with the sanding.
Activity idea for DINO-BOARDING by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
The next morning my youngest son applied a coat of primer.
Activity idea for DINO-BOARDING by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
After a day of drying, they picked a grayish-blue paint for DINO-BOARD.
Activity idea for DINO-BOARDING by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
The following day my boys worked together to paint dinosaurs on the skateboard. They started with the underside. My oldest son painted a T-Rex with a red shirt and hat.
Activity idea for DINO-BOARDING by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
My youngest son painted a "Bronti-a-saurus" and consulted Barry Gott's illustrations for guidance.
Activity idea for DINO-BOARDING by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
They let the first layer of paint dry and then added different colors on top to add details to their dinosaurs.
Activity idea for DINO-BOARDING by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
My son painted an awesome dinosaur head on the top-side of the skateboard. I suggested adding claws and a tail, too. He said, "Good idea, Dad!" (I have those once in a while!)
Activity idea for DINO-BOARDING by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
His brother added different shades of green on top of his painting. Great teamwork!
The next day, he sprayed a clear coat of spray enamel on both sides of the skateboard to protect their painting.
Activity idea for DINO-BOARDING by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
Lastly, the wheels were put back on.
Activity idea for DINO-BOARDING by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
Check out this cool Dino-Board!
Activity idea for DINO-BOARDING by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
My oldest son came up with the idea of taking our Dino-board to the skateboard park to try it out. It worked out well on flat ground.
Activity idea for DINO-BOARDING by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
But, not so well on the ramps.
Activity idea for DINO-BOARDING by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
He really wanted to ride it down the ramp but thought better of it.
Thankfully, we brought out scooters to the park. We think our skateboard is now more a work of art than skateboard anyway.
Barry, it was nice to meet you Hudson, Ohio! We hope you have a great birthday! Thank you for making Northeast Ohio proud with your awesome Dino-Sports books!

Links:
1. Barry Gott's Website
2. Follow Barry Gott on Twitter, Instagram
3. Barry Gott's Etsy
4. Barry Gott's Portfolio - Herman Agency, Inc
5. Interview - Cynsations (2010), ILA
6. Holler Loudly Trailer
7. More about Barry Gott - Winslow Press, Bedford City School District
8. Holler Loudly Teacher's Guide - Cynthia Leitich Smith

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