Author praises creative kids

Sally Kindberg
Sally Kindberg

A children’s author has been visiting schools across Lewis and Harris to help aid children’s creativity and confidence through fun activities.

Sally Kindberg is a globally respected author and illustrator who has worked for The Guardian and The New Statesman.

But she told The Gazette she now enjoys hosting children’s art work-shops aimed at helping kids express themselves through all manner of activities and games.

Indeed, children at schools across the Isles have enjoyed the experience too, learning different techniques in artistic expression and having a fun time drawing their dreams on paper.

Sally travelled around schools with her dinosaur mascot, Cherry Bob, who was named specially by children at Bernera School.

The author of the hugely successful ‘Draw it!’ series, Sally’s books prompt children to think and speak through drawing. She says she was really impressed by how enthusiastic and polite the children were at the schools she visited in Tarbert, Back, Uig, and Benera.

Children at the schools were treated to explanations of how to visually represent and explore their ambitions and thoughts.

Sally, who was born in Sweden but is based in London, absolutely beamed as she told The Gazette about meeting Western Isles children. She says the children’s enthusiasm for life really impacted her as much she hopes it has them.

“Most of all I want the workshops to be fun and not dry or academic”, said Sally, who has written over 30 books and will release another book in her ‘Draw It’ series, this time on the theme of dinosaurs.

“I want the work to be aspirational and encourage children to think about how they can fulfil their dreams. I’ve been all over the world doing these workshops and I’m so happy to say the feedback has been great.”

Kids are let loose with drawing material at the workshops to cultivate their imagination. This helps them think about their ideals, hopes, and perspectives. Typical of her practical creative intuition, Sally brought along a tea-towel of the Antarctic, which she placed on the classroom floor. “The children stepped over the Antarctic. Not a word of a lie”, she wryly added, explaining that the activity is designed to foster young mind’s perspectives on ability.

Before she leaves, Sally will visit the Nicolson Institute where children there will learn how art can help foster the healthy development of young minds.

An art teacher at Back School said: “The children were so engaged in Sally’s activities that they forgot it was break time. They learned a lot and the school was really happy to have Sally visit and we were really impressed by her enthusiasm.”

“I hope the term ‘graphic novel’ doesn’t sound pretentious,” says Sally, whose modest demeanour is the perfect antidote to her worry.

Sally’s new book in the ‘Draw It’ range is themed on dinosaurs and hits the shelves September 15.

Pictured is children’s author Sally Kindberg, who has been visiting Island schools to host creative workshops.