School Visits, Libraries, and Middlesbrough!

Friday, Vivian and I visited two schools to give our 'performance'. I don't know what else to call it really. Viv talks about writing and how to create story while I furiously draw what the kids come up with. It's awesome fun and goes over so well. No surprise really, as I remember that one of my favorite television shows as a kid was John Robbins' Cover to Cover. He read a story while illustrating it and every time I watched, I was completely enraptured. In person, it takes two of us to pull off that sort of magic. Here's an example of the finished cover from the first school we visited.
We leave the artwork with the schools and they seem tickled with it. We visited two very different schools. One was in the heart of Middlesbrough and was probably the most diverse group I've ever had the pleasure to experience, ethnically and religiously. Add to that, most of the students and teachers were dressed up to celebrate the royal wedding! Oh, and they had an on-site 'care-dog' - a friendly golden retriever who helps calm anxious kids, and loves being read to. Why don't all schools have a dog? It makes so much sense! The second was a Catholic school in the suburbs and could not have been any different. The kids entered the room quietly and orderly, wearing various school uniforms. Of course, kids are kids, and they're all enthusiastic when they get into what Viv and I share.
     After we finished our school visits we headed back to the Middlesbrough Carnegie Library to look around.
We went to check out the reference room where the Picture Hooks Conference would take place the next day. The doors were lovely.
And so was the library!
Even the radiators were works of art.
I especially enjoyed the exhibit on the first floor.
The library was celebrating the various families that had immigrated to Middlesbrough over the years and made the city the vibrant place that it is. For instance:
The Modern Museum sat right behind the library, so I was able to pop in there as well. I loved this tissue paper art. It was mounted on a window and with the light coming through it, it was just gorgeous.
Next to the museum is a sculpture that has become the insignia of Middlesbrough called the Bottle Of Notes - reminding the viewer of the world of stories and cultures that influenced the town.

Of course, the main reason we were there was for the Picture Hooks Conference the next day. So I went back to the hotel across the street and sank into the ultra-soft bed to rest-up...
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