For the past few years, thanks to parents' generous donations, LFSF students have enjoyed the visits of artists in residence coming from France. Edouard MANCEAU is coming to visit us for the next two weeks. We asked Nadine LE MAITRE, the librarian on the Ashbury campus, a few questions.
LFSF : As a librarian on the Ashbury campus, you welcome a French author or illustrator of children book once a year. In your view, what is the value of having such a visit for the students?
NL : Welcoming an artist in residence at first, it’s creating a relation. It’s a great way for all of us here to actually put a face on a book or a series of children’s books. We get to know more about the person who brings this story to us : we can exchange and ask questions. And, of course, we get more attached to the story and the author in the process.
But above all, it’s a fantastic learning experience for the children. They learn real illustrating techniques, they understand how to imagine and write a story, design and bring to life characters, and also how to build the book - I mean, the object itself. And who knows? These visits could be a revelation for some of them, because it is an entire profession that they start to understand. Children realize that writing can be an actual job!
LFSF: My understanding is that parents also have the opportunity to meet the artist, is that correct?
NL: Yes, parents can benefit from these visits as well! On each campus, we organize a book signing session for parents and children. It is a very special time because students are always proud to show their parents what is being done at school, parents can meet the artist and share what children say about the visit at home! “My kid loves your book!” ,... I really encourage parents to come to these book signings, they are a lot of fun!
LFSF: Edouard Manceau is coming to LFSF next week, on the Sausalito first (from April 1st to April 4th) and then to your campus, on Ashbury (from April 4th to April 12th)? Could you please tell us more about this author and what you anticipate from his visit?
NL: I am very excited to welcome Edouard Manceau because he is a very complete artist. He is a writer, of course, but he also draws, paints and uses mixed media. I particularly enjoy his work on shapes. In one of his books, he manages to create 4 different stories illustrated with just 4 different shapes! The coat becomes a crown that turns into a house...it’s magical!
I invite you to check out his blog to see what I mean: http://edouardmanceau.blogspot.com
Edouard will work with maternelle and Gr1 students. He will first present his work and explain his process. He is bringing some of his original work in his suitcase to share with the students! Then he will propose some collage activities to the children.
Of course, we prepared for his visit! During students’ visits to the library, we read all his books (we have them all!). Children were able to play with his games. We also worked ahead of time with the artist himself to identify the activities that are well tailored to our students’ age and interests.
LFSF: What is your dearest memory from this artist in residence program?
NL: Oh, I have more than one!
For example, I will never forget the day when a child came to see me with a sheet of paper and a pen, asking “ Nadine, could you please write down for me the brand of paper and pen Geoffroy de Pennart uses, because I would like to draw just like him?”!
Geoffroy de Pennart had presented his work and his techniques to the class just recently.
Or the time when Milo, in preschool at the time, spent over an hour watching the author sign his books, standing on the tip of his toes because he was so short! I think it was Antonin Louchard who was visiting at the time.
A parent once told me that after a visit from Pierrick Bisinski, who works mainly on collage, his kids were neglecting the TV set at home and were asking for paper and scissors!
Book signing session last year with Marie DESPLECHIN