These videos show my ideas for helping children develop a love of books, writing, reading and creativity
...but you can also view them purely for entertainment!
They were originally made for a YouTube presentation when I was a 'featured writer' for a chat session on the 2006 Fandangle Magazine Virtual Book Fair organised in America.
The theme is 'providing and increasing pleasurable book and word experiences for children (rather than focussing on texts) to help them develop a love of books and words, and to spark their imagination, curiosity and creativity'.
Even if you are not involved with a child's development, hopefully you'll find the series entertaining, interesting and stimulating, and you'll enjoy looking at my selection of old books, documents, quirky book structures and word art.
The videos are really a 'movie' version of my article 'Writing for Boys', in the 'Articles' section of this site. They include filmed items from my collections and show some techniques for calligraphy and making artists' books, amongst other things.
They also give a taste of what I can talk about and let people handle and pass around at workshops and presentations.
They follow from one to the next, for a total of 6 videos, about 8 minutes each. I hope you can watch and enjoy them all in sequence to get the 'complete story' - initially, at least.
Click on the large arrow in the centre of the screens to download each video.
I suggest you download them one at a time.
Number 1 Children's earliest experiences with books and language, and the types of books children create when they are very young.
You'll see a glimpse of my studio, a lot of books around my house, and books my two children and I constructed in these early years.
Number 2 There are many kinds of books that young children can make for themselves. Some children prefer to create non-fiction books rather than stories. In this video I discuss some reasons why we want children to read and introduce the idea that many books can be enjoyed without being read - because it's great and worthwhile just to experience them.
Number 3 I show you some items from my collection of 'ancient wonders' - books and other pieces of writing from the 17th to 19th centuries.
Number 4 Most children benefit from more word experiences than just stories - poems, plays, musicals and others. At the end I introduce the concept of 'artists' books' - book structures to stimulate the imagination.
Number 5 Here are a lot more different book structures, including easy ones that children can develop for fun, school assignments, or to win competions. You can watch me fold one! I also discuss and show samples of using words as elements of design - creating 'word pictures'.
Number 6 As you can imagine, at its end, this video includes a summary of all 6, but most of it shows how to enjoy words and writing through calligraphy and 'word art' - and you can watch me write. Hopefully the instructions will enable people of any age to enjoy 'playing with pens' and 'painting with words'.
Well, that's it!
Thank you for watching all 6. I hope you enjoyed them. I certainly had fun making them.
Later I may put them all together, add some extra material, and make them available as a high quality DVD. (I keep buying more things through ebay, and creating 'word art' and artist's books.)
I'll appreciate any comments and suggestions you send me.