Art Club

I re-vamped an old program recently. Many years ago, my local library association took a bus trip to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. While we were there, they presented two of the lectures they offer to student and educators. One was called “The Art of the Picture Book” where instead of looking at the story, we just looked at the artwork and what we got out of it. From that program, I ran one titled the same name where we looked at the artwork of a particular illustrator and created a piece similar to the medium they used (e.g tissue paper collage for Eric Carle).

I wanted to do this again, but for a broader age range. I re-titled it Art Club and opened it up for students in K-5. For this one, we looked at two books by Michael Hall.

My Heart is Like a Zoo is a great book where every animal in it is created from hearts. With Perfect Square, Hall shows how many ways a square can be cut, torn, changes to make something else.

For the craft, I cut out various shaped hearts in different colors and the same for squares. I had pictures of the artwork, but they were accidentally deleted. You’ll have to take my work for it when I say their pieces were really cute.


UMIGO – Measurement

For the second part of my UMIGO program, we centered on measurement. We watched the episode “Nobody Rides the Soakster.”  After answering a few questions about the episode, we got to measuring.

I had taped these thing sheets of paper together that were long enough to measure an adult. The children all took turns getting measured on it. The website provided a ruler which I glued to construction paper for the children to use. They also measured various items around the room using their feet, their hands, and the ruler to see how different the measurements were. The parents also measured things with their feet and hands. They had a great time walking around the room and measuring what caught their interest.

After all the measuring was done, I put a block on the floor of the room. Starting at the door, we measured how many steps it would take to reach the block, including the turns necessary to reach it. It was a mini version of a treasure map.  I said they could create more elaborate ones at home with this method.

These were fun programs to run and I would definitely do more with the site.

Disabled or Mislabeled: Comics and Graphic Novels About Disabilities Bibliography

This is a brief break from my regular program posts. The below bibliography is from the panel I was part of at New York Comic Con. It’s not a complete bibliography, but my fellow panelists and I wanted to share some of the things we found while working on the panel.

Mental Illness

Bechdel, Alison           Fun Home

Bradshaw, Hannah     Dark Early

Brick                            Depresso

Brosh, Allie                  Hyperbole and a Half

Cunningham, Darryl    Psychiatric Tales

Forney, Ellen              Marbles, Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me

Green, Justin               Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary

Leavitt, Sarah              Tangles

Powell, Nate                Swallow Me Whole

White, Tracy                How I Made it to Eighteen

Will, Elaine                  Look Straight Ahead

Williams, Ian                The Bad Doctor


Superheroes with Disabilities

Blue Ear and Sapheara – hearing impaired (Marvel) – Blue Ear was created in honor of Anthony Smith, a hard of hearing four year old comic fan

Cannan – Synesthesia

Daredevil – Blind

Echo – Deaf

Hawkeye – Deaf

Michaela Watch – Blind – Blood Blockade Battlefront

Mimori Togo/ Sumi Washio – Wheelchair

Professor X – wheelchair

Toph Befong – Blind  – Avatar the Last Airbender


Frazier, Alec. Without Fear: The First Autistic Superhero


Non- Superheroes With Physical Disabilities

Bell, CeCe. El Deafo (self – deaf)

Chmakova, Sveltana. Awkward (Mrs. Thompson – wheelchair)

Davison, Al. The Spiral Cage (Self – spina bifida)

Hotta, Yuti. Hikaru No Go (Hikaru – Autistic)

Kats, Jewel. Ditzabled Princess (self)

Kohske. Gangsta (Nic -deaf)

Leka, Kaisa. I am Not These Feet (self – amputee)

Oima, Yoshitoki. Silent Voice (Shoko -deaf)

Stevens, Eric. Skateboard Sonar (Matty – blind)

Stevenson, Noelle. Nimona (Lord Ballister Blackheart – amputee)


Manga Characters with Disabilities


Akira –  Samurai Deeper Kyo

Hinoto – X

Kakei Jubei – Get Backers

Kaname Tousen – Bleach

Madoka Otowa –  Get Backers

Mamoru Hijikata – Until Death Do Us Part

Michaela Watch – Blood Blockade Battlefront

Motoko Kusanagi – Cybernetic Body

Sara – Samurai Champloo

Usui –  Rurouni Kenshin

Yomi – YuYu Hakusho

Yuan – Samurai Deeper Kyo

Zaphikel – Angel Sanctuary


Wheelchair User

Hazama Rei – DOUBT

Kakinomoto Karen – Limited Lovers

Sylvette Suede – Tegamibachi

Teo – Avatar the Last Airbender



Allen Walker – D-Gray Man

Edward Elric – Fullmetal Alchemist

Kuukaku Shiba- Bleach

Neko Onna – Adekan

Sesshoumaru- Inu Yasha

Shanks – One Piece

Vash the Stampede – TRIGUN



Hikaru- With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child



Readings on the Subject of Disabilities in Comic Books


Alaniz, Jose. Death. Disability, and the Superhero.


Biklen, D. and Bogdan, R. “Media Portrayals of Disabled People: A Descriptive Study.”


Birge, Sarah. “No Life Lessons Here: Comics, Autism, and Empathetic Scholarship.”

Comer, Todd A. “The Hidden Architecture of Disability: Chris Ware’s Building Stories.”


Ilea, Ramona. “The Mutant Cure or Social Change: Debating Disability” in X-Men and Philosophy.


Irwin, Marilyn and Moeller, Robin “Seeing Different: Portrayals of Disability in Young Adult Graphic Novels.”


Irwin, Marilyn and Moeller, Robin. “Seeing the Same: A Follow-Up Study on the Portrayals of Disability in Graphic Novels Read by Young Adults.”


Kats, Jewel Michelle. “Ditzabled Princess: a New Disability Comic.”


Lewis, E. “Minorities in Comics 1 of 7: 10 Comic Characters with Disabilities.”


McGrail, Ewa and Rieger, Alicja. “Increasing Disability Awareness through Comics Literature.”


NPR Staff. “El Deafo: How a Girl Turned Her Disability into a Superpower.”


Waldman, Katie. “Patterns and Panels: How Comics Portray Psychological Illness.”

Peppa Pig Party

Peppa Pig is huge at my library, so we celebrated her with a fun program. We started with a Peppa Pig book:


Once we were done with the book, we did some “mud” movement. I had taped about 8 pieces of construction paper together and cut them out to look like a mud puddle. The children all jumped, ran, rolled, and walked through the mud.

We moved onto our craft. Using construction paper, I cut out shapes from this template:


I found it on an Italian website called Inspire Sua Festa. The directions didn’t translate, so it took me a second to figure out the semi-circle (cut in half, they become her ears) and the long oval (folded and cut, they become her legs). I created a small circle for her cheek in a different color pink than the rest.

After that, we painted with mud. I took potting soil and mixed it with water. You may have to mix it a few times to get the right consistency and the children created art on watercolor paper with mud. Surprisingly, this was not as messy as I feared!

As they were finishing up, a few of the children took their completed Peppa crafts and danced her in the construction paper mud puddle.