Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Daydream Dan by Sarah Garson

We all enjoyed a lovely visit to our school library today by Sarah Garson http://www.sarahgarson.com/. Sarah has recently come to live in Sydney moving from Oxford in UK. Her picture books are published by Andersen Press and are just delightful. Our Year 3 children particularly enjoyed Daydream Dan and Alfie’s Angels.

In the story Daydream Dan we meet a boy with a fabulous imagination although he insists he is not daydreaming. His teacher is too caught up in the daily routines of the classroom and does not notice a jungle as it grows in the classroom, the arrival of a pirate ship, Dan’s meeting with mermaids or the fact that this classroom has rapidly filled with amazing things.

This book reminded us of A nice walk in the Jungle by Nan Bodsworth where the children are on an excursion and while the teacher focuses on the tiny jungle creatures and insects all around them, a boa constrictor is slowing working his way down the line of children swallowing each one in turn.

Sarah was able to show us the process of picture book production from the design of the 32 pages, the dummy book, proof copy and finished product. We were especially impressed by the global journey that a book makes from its creation in Australia, back to the UK, on to Switzerland, back to Australia, then to the Bologna Book Fair, off to Singapore and finally it is placed in a warehouse in UK ready for distribution around the world.

Sarah’s newest book is One Two Cockatoo and it was inspired by the lovely Sulphur-crested Cockatoos that arrive in her garden. Sarah has really captured the personality of this cheeky bird and very young children will adore the little twist at the end of this one to ten counting rhyme when one more little arrival is added.

Sarah’s work appears in more than twenty books from covers, to poetry anthologies, bilingual texts to her own special stories. Today was certainly a day to remember in our school library.

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