On Friday the 31st of August I visited Plateau Primary School in Te Marua, Upper Hutt. I arrived at 2.15pm and the school was silent as the children were all working hard in their classrooms. I was escorted across to the hall where I set up my ipad with the projector. A loud ringing pierced my ears – it was the bell for assembly. One class at a time they all marched into the hall and sat down. I then noticed one class were holding sticks with little flies on them that they had made for my visit! I had sent through some colouring pages a few weeks before for the children to win some signed prints from the book. I planned on judging them on the day however when I was handed the massive pile I realised this was unrealistic.
One of the cool things about this visit was that I went to Plateau School when I was little. It was great to return after all these years and see how things had changed. There were some familiar faces amongst the staff but lots of new ones as well. The school is just how I remembered it and still holds a very warm feeling in my heart.
I started my presentation with some photos my mother dug up of me at the school. This was cool as I think it really helped the children realise that I was once one of them. I then showed them a bunch of my illustrations and there was a lot of laugher at my caricature of a dog riding a Harley-Davidson. I had the book loaded onto my ipad and told the kids they could read along with if they liked. I wasn’t prepared for the fact that every child in the school knew my book and all the words. They all read long with me every single word, it was awesome!
I then picked a few volunteers to come up while I drew them on the whiteboard. They were very brave coming up in front of the whole school and trusting me to draw a nice picture of them. I had all the children help me figure out what to draw next. This was very cool and really created a lot of energy and excitement as they watch their friend become a cartoon.
After all the fun at the school I then had the particularly tricky job of judging the colouring in competition this weekend. I spread them out over my lounge floor and was blown away with the talent of these pupils. It was a very difficult thing to judge because the creativity was outstanding! There were stripes and hearts added, bright colours and patterns and even the use of highlighter pens which I especially liked. But there has to be a winner, or three in this case. So I have selected three that I felt did a terrific job at bringing these pictures to life.
Congratulations to the three lucky students below!