Foxes and poodles galore

Above: Two of the children at the workshop show their illustrations. (names forthcoming)

A creative and colourful afternoon was had by children from City Quay National School at a storytelling and illustration workshop at Pearse Street Library on Wednesday 29th of March recently.

The event is in association with ALIGHT!, the dance, art and performance project coordinated by Dublin City Council and CoisCéim Broadreach.

Rodney Devitt, an author from Sandymount, gave a reading and performance of two of his children’s stories, Fergal Fox And The French Poodle and Sam The Amazing Sheepdog.

Above: All the children get ready to doodle!

Devitt was happy to take part in the initiative. “I love reading my stories and performing them so I’m very happy to be here to do that,” he said. “They lend themselves to both being read alone and almost better still, read aloud to the person and dramatised a little bit.”

With their imaginations inspired, the children from first class then joined Niamh Sharkey to illustrate the characters from Mr Devitt’s stories. Niamh Sharkey is a former Laureate na nÓg, a widely published children’s author and creator of Henry Hugglemonster, a new animated show with Disney Junior.

Sharkey talked to the children about considering the personality of the animals and how to illustrate their distinctive features. They were let loose with lots of oil pastels on a ten-metre length of paper to doodle their character designs.

Photos courtesy of Cleo Fagan, Dublin City Council.

Sharkey added: “I mostly do picture books, but also animation and an important part of that is character design. I did a few sketches to inspire them, but then it was up to them to interpret and respond to the stories. I just thought it was a great idea to lead a workshop with young kids based on someone else’s stories. I think it is a fantastic initiative to get writers and illustrators working with kids.”

By Jessica Ellis