This afternoon I had a lovely ⅵsit to Earlham Primary School where I used to work as a Teaching Assistant. Head Teacher Laura Hewer was so warm and welcoming and it was great to see the staff and children who still remembered me! Even better is the fact that the teacher I used to work with – Miss Kirby – my hero and role model is going to be reading ARTY TARDY with a Year 6 class!
What a wonderful afternoon!
Wow! it was intense but I have just finished my manuscript – all 80 pages of it!
It has literacy activities and workshops based on Arty Tardy. I must admit though that I had to hold off on my second children’s book in the series Bonny Bonnie and treat it like the carrot at the end of a stick in order to expedite my writing! It has been an amazing experience – I pour coffee in and writing comes out of my fingertips! Pure Magic!
Now I am done I can get back into the groove and I aim to finish it before I start my placement next month – no pressure there then!
Beautiful new addition to my CHILDREN’S REVIEW PAGE
Arty Tardy is a journey rather than a story. The author, Kitty Clairmont has a wonderful way of captivating her audience and addressing what are sometimes ‘delicate’ issues – in this case SEN; in particular a boy named David (Tardy) with aspergers.
This book takes you through David’s dilemmas of daily life and allows you to see through his perception just how menial things for you and I, are often life altering when dealing with aspergers.
Kitty Clairmont’s clever use of language not only allows you the capability of envisaging David’s story and the vision through young eyes, but also opens your heart and mind to the many obstacles with which as adults we take for granted.
This is a must read for all; being young, old, for pleasure or educational purposes.
A pause for thought for us all:
“My school is like a horse chestnut tree. the branches are the teachers and the flowers are the children. Some of us have blotches of different colours and are different sizes and shapes but we are really all the same.” (P.117)
Why a whole page for children’s reviews? Well, children are the most honest of critics I have ever encountered. If something is rubbish they’ll tell you straight and if they love something you’ll get a resounding cheer – there’s no need to read between the lines with them!
Obviously as the author I like my book, after all I wrote it! But what I really want to know is whether I’ve hit the mark or not – Arty Tardy was written with primary school children in mind and I want to know whether the story had hit home with them. How do they feel about David? Do they understand his different perspective? Did the story touch them? Was it funny? What message did they get? Do they want more?
Also it still surprises me how much children like my poetry book – Angelic Poetry: Little Pills of Comfort. So I want to find out which poems they like best – because – here’s a little secret – I want to write another one just for them!
I value all the feedback I get and every day I am more and more humbled at the effect my writing has had on people of all ages – young and not so young.
Please feel free to have a look at the page – there is more on the way from local schools who are currently reading my books. I await with bated breath!
KITTY’S WEBSITE: http://www.kittyclairmont.com/index.asp?pageid=603505
Kitty’s analogy between Tardy and David defeating Goliath is very apt and I love the unlikely and even covert friendship between Tardy (the main character) and Jermaine.
One of my favourite characters is Tardy (I have a few) and Kitty shows real insight into the emotional and mental challenges of a boy, who as a ten year old, knows he will never grow up; but is learning tough life skills every day.
Colour is used in lots of ways: to paint (of course), to calm the soul, to relieve and show frustration, gain joy…. and my favourite…to describe how Miss Robinson “feels” to Tardy – Excellent!!
The characters personalities are very real and I found myself getting lost in this up-to-date, funny, thought provoking and heart-felt story. I laughed out loud (lol), jumped and cheered and shed a tear or twenty!
This is a fantastic book, to be enjoyed by children and adults alike, and definitely one my four kids and I will thoroughly enjoy over and over again!
The ARTY TARDY workshop weaves Literacy and Art together. If you’ve read the book then you know what I mean.
Inspired by elements of Picasso and Hockney it celebrates the fact that ‘Every Child is an Artist’ [Pablo Picasso].
We explore fun new words found in the book with practical application – that is – we play with paint and paintbrushes! But it is so much more than that! We compare each other’s ideas which always differs from person to person and can produce some visually exciting stuff I can tell you!
We explore famous painters and look at different representations of an element from the book (could be a fruit or a tree…) which have been selected to illustrate the scope of different techniques and perspectives – the children delight it the ones that simply do not conform to ‘traditional’ ideas! So armed – off we go and produce our own!
Ground rules incorporating the FOUR C’s form the nexus of the workshop that values every child’s contribution, viewpoint and level of ability and ensures that they have fun whilst learning collaboratively.
All in all it celebrates diversity and self expression – with a good dose of humour and fun!