Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I drew this a while ago and colored it up in several versions. This pure Zebra marker version's a recent iteration to inspire jKids to do art and tell stories (in English).

It was a fun challenge writing a story that basic English-learners can get, while still striving to make it as interesting a story as possible. I was inspired by the elementary school textbook's telling of the Peach Boy story. It was beautiful and poetic, but everything you needed was there, even if in its most primal, basic state. "I am strong! We are strong!" goes a long way, for instance. So the goal was to approach that kind of code-worded storytelling to fire off imaginations without using a single word that could stumble the jKids.

I had to travel for work last week and we had to write a skit with some older jKids, and it's this whole writing for English-learners angle that really gets you thinking about story essentials. What tale can you communicate when your chief weapon--language--gets dulled at the forge before you ever get to wield it? It's a fun exercise, and we managed to tell a great story AND even work in wordplay (even winning an award for it, but I felt a bit guilty since it was more my idea than the jKids') but I am glad to be out of that damping zone and back writing more language-empowered stories.

In any case, regardless of how many arms I must have tied behind my back, I do love scratching that story-telling itch.


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