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Monday, August 22, 2016

Steamboat School

Picture from illustrator's blog*
Steamboat School by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Ron Husband is a moving historical fiction.  Based on facts around the life of Reverend John Berry Meachum, Hopkinson tells the story through the eyes of "James" a fictional character.  James has to be dragged to school, at first.  But after the Tallow School is shut down he helps bring about the Steamboat School.
This story gave me goosebumps.  The very idea that it would be against the law for someone to go to school is against everything I believe in.  One of the quotes is about courage and bravery being a small thing.  That really struck a chord and I know it will translate well into the classroom with children and teachers.
The art was first done as small sketches on tracing paper then enlarged onto illustration board. Next Husband used pen and black India ink, color was added in Photoshop over an aged paper background.
The illustrations are detailed using a limited, muted palette. 
I'll use this with Kindergarten and older students.  Probably a Kindergarten late in the year so they're not so squirrelly. 

*Illustrator's blog found, here, where the above picture was taken.

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