Inspiring Young Readers

posted on 13 Jul 2018

Drawings inspired by The Elephant’s Garden by Jane Ray

It would be all too easy for me to get big headed when I visit Somers Park Primary School. The Year Three children always greet me with enthusiasm and beg to be allowed to work with me! This time their teacher chose two small groups to read ‘The Elephant’s Garden’ by Jane Ray with me and one girl said wistfully ‘I think you should come every day.‘

Later a boy suggested that I should perhaps consider being a private tutor! Lovely as this school is, I am now retired and I do have lots of other things to do and people to see – but I really enjoy my visits. This is the third time we have looked closely at books by this illustrator and you can read all about our previous lively discussions here and here.

The Elephant's Garden is another impressive picture book illustrated and written by the talented Jane Ray and I was able to read the story aloud which included looking closely at the detail in the pictures. It was well received by both groups and all the children had plenty of positive comments to make. This time I will let their excellent annotated pictures tell you what they liked about the book. But I would like to draw your attention to the clever drawing by Rafe which shows him as an artist wearing a beret and a striped jersey (as all artists do). He has written ‘You inspired me to draw’. What a great compliment! I didn’t notice this until I looked at the pictures when I got home and I suppose it just goes to show how important it is to look, and then look again and again more deeply at illustrations and other pieces of art. There was a bit of chatter along the lines of  I can’t draw/ my elephant is rubbish/ I don’t know how to draw etc but we talked about how all children are artists and that different interpretations are fine.  I hope that you enjoy looking at their pictures as much as I did and I look forward to sending them to Jane Ray soon.

I also look forward to working with the children again and having the opportunity to look closely at the work of an illustrator with a different style.

Karen Argent

July 2018   

(Click on any image below to view them in a slide show format)