This week, I visited a local 3rd Grade class and talked to them about creating characters and stories. Bonnie Pehlke was good enough to give me 2 hours of her class time to give this talk and put it into practice. Her class created a character named Hairy. He is a bigfoot who wears underwear and has a pacifier.
We carried this exercise further by putting Hairy into a story. The kids, Bonnie, and I all threw ideas around, discussed story structure and how we can put them all together into a cohesive story. This kids put their all into making the story, and having fun doing it.
We got the story written and then mapped it out into pages. We discussed what the illustrations would be for each story beat. We sketched, we chose our moments, we sketched some more, and finalized our layout. After that, we wrapped up and I came home to my studio to put it all together.
I sketched out the illustrations for the story, like this:
... and I put the pages together and put together these 8-page books. These books are for Bonnie's class and are a just reward for their hard work in putting this story together.
If you'd like to read the story of Hairy, a free PDF of the book is available HERE.
Check out the amazing work of this great group of kids!