Wake up and scratch?

It's not what you think, but a fortuitous meeting of a classic storybook and enough scratch-art paper left at the end of the school year for a really fun project. Remembering this stash in the middle of the night was great luck.

When I couldn't find The Camel Who Took A Walk at my libraries, I bought a used copy online. Never reading this favorite to Mr. Short Stack was too sad a future for this Grancy.*

Each of the art groups, ages 3-4, 5-6, and 7-9 were captured in the suspense of Jack Tworkov's story and Roger Duvoisin's illustrations. The camel is walking slowly and gracefully on a road that divides the forest in half just as the dark of night is turning the slightest blue and tinges of pink. The camel is walking from the horizon toward the foreground where a tiger, a monkey, yes, a squirrel, and a small bird wait with big plans. The forest is filled with line patterns just made for scratch art drawing. The book is made for teaching art!

What happens? I won't tell what happens in the story, but what happened in the art classes was magical. Entranced by the story and the unusual medium, the students worked almost silently on the drawings. That right there is a miracle. No one poked anybody with the scratch drawing stick. Another miracle.

The younger groups used color scratch art papers. The oldest group concentrated on using pattern in their drawings on black and white scratch art paper. I wish I had photos of the results, but the kids were too excited to take their art home.

Way back when cars had fins, we made our own scratch art paper by coloring a sheet of paper with crayons, and then coloring over that with black crayon. It was slow and messy. You can try coloring a sheet of paper, and then painting it with a couple coats of black acrylic. Toothpicks work okay, but longer canape spears work better as scratch tools.

A pack of scratch art paper is a great purchase for long, hot summer afternoons, with parental rationing. Without rationing, kids can and will destroy every sheet in the package in about three minutes with their fingernails.

Also in the middle of the night I remembered the package of sunprint photo paper my son formerly known as the Woolly Mammoth (SFKWM) gave me for Christmas. How can I make sunprints of the vintage laces and fabrics? Ooh! Sounds like a summer afternoon projects.

Sleep well. Write yourself this note. Put it in the dental floss drawer in your bathroom. Then send your camel to bed:

Dromedary = one hump. Bactrian = two humps. 
Don't let it be forgot that once there was a spot  for
 one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot.

*A list of books this Grancy absolutely must have a chance to read aloud to Mr. Short Stack and his future cousins. I guess I better take care of myself and stick around for awhile:

  • Owl Babies, by Martin Waddell
  • Caps For Sale, by Esphyr Slobodkina
  • Mouse Paint, by Ellen Stoll Walsh
  • Circle Dogs, by Kevin Henkes and Dan Yaccarino
  • The Color Kittens, by Margaret Wise Brown
  • The Night Worker, by Kate Banks and Georg Hallensleben
  • Harry the Dirty Dog, by Gene Zion
  • The Camel Who Took A Walk, by Jack Tworkov and Roger Duvoisin
  • The Piggy in the Puddle, by Charlotte Pomerantz
  • Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey
  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, by Virginia Burton
  • The Pout-Pout Fish, by Deborah Diesen
  • Stop That Pickle, by Peter Armour
  • Pierre, by Maurice Sendak
  • Go Dog, Go!, by P. D. Eastman
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, by Dr. Seuss
  • Pussywillow, by Margaret Wise Brown
  • The Tale of Custard the Dragon, by Ogden Nash
  • Andy and the Lion, by James Daugherty
  • A Fish Out of Water, by Helen Palmer
  • The Monkey and the Crocodile, by Paul Galdone
  • Coyote and the Laughing Butterflies, by Harriet Peck Taylor
  • Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen
  • "What Was I Scared Of?", by Dr. Seuss
  • Jumanji, by Chris Van Allsburg
  • If I Ran the Circus, by Dr. Seuss
  • The Gifts of Wali Dad, by Aaron Shepard
  • Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling

  • © 2013 Nancy L. Ruder

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