Author and illustrator Leo Lionni created the images in his books using collages. The following is an excerpt of a story about the origins of his first children's book, Little Blue Little Yellow. Read all about the artist here.
He was taking his two young grandchildren, Pippo and Annie, from Grand Central Station to his home in Greenwich, Connecticut. When the two youngsters began acting up, he said, "I’ll tell you a story." He pulled out of his briefcase an advance copy of Life and began tearing out pages of the magazine, and from them, small round pieces of various colors.
I put my briefcase on my knees to make a table and in a deep voice said, "This is Little Blue, and this is Little Yellow," as I placed the round pieces of colored paper onto the leather stage.
His grandchildren were mesmerized by the story (as were the adult passengers sitting within hearing distance).
Instead of making a collage, we decided to mimic the soft, muted inchworm drawings using the classic technique of dry chalk on wet paper.
Inchworm Chalk Drawings
- Construction paper
- Colored chalk (we used sidewalk chalk)
- Container of water
- Green marker
- Give your reader a container of plain water and a paintbrush and let the invisible painting begin. The paper should be covered with the wet paint strokes but not soaked.
- Using the sidewalk chalk, your reader draws a landscape of grass and trees for the inchworm to crawl through.
- The masterpiece would not be complete without using the marker to add an inchworm.
- Allow the paper to dry completely and then you can lightly spray it with hairspray to reduce smearing. This step is best left to the adult reader.
This art project was added to the Chalk Link Up, which features other great outdoor chalk activities. Check it out!