This is the first of four picturebook collaborations with KS1 classes at Higher Openshaw Community school to reach proofing stage. 

I worked with the children and teaching staff over four weeks to help them to generate their own story ideas, words and pictures.  In Miss Butterworth’s Y1 class we quickly settled on Monsters as a theme, and devised a concept celebrating the kind of words that monsters love – oozingly onomatopoeic & awesomely alliterative!

To gain inspiration we set up stations around the classroom where the children could try out some monstrously messy activities, such as squishing dough, crunching pasta, and mucking about with goo. This serious research helped us to come up with some truly truly authentic monster words which then went into the mix – along with a dash of rhythm and rhyme, and a little twist to finish – to produce our story text.

The artwork would be kept simple, with each contributor providing at least one original monster illustration that could be cut out, scanned, and arranged to complement the text. The children drew, painted, snipped, and collaged their creations, unifying the eclectic work by using black & white sticky dots to add the eyes as a finishing touch.  Back at the studio we fed all the words and pictures into InDesign, added some simple backgrounds and pleasing typography, and now Monsters Love Words is ready to send to the printers!