I'll chalk it up to a combination of laziness and busy-ness, but It's been over a year since I last wrote a post, so I'm getting back into the swing of things with a round-up of the whirlwind of activities from 2015:
Firstly, I was happy to have Miranda Paul (from Green bay, WI), the author of my sixth illustrated children's book, and Isatou Ceesay (from the Gambia, West Africa), the real-life hero of the book One Plastic Bag: Isatou Cesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia, visit Albany during their book tour!
And to be able to meet the subject of a book I've done is even more rare! Isatou Ceesay is the first for me! I felt like I knew her from my research and illustrations, but shaking the hand of the lady herself was amazing.
|Isatou with fans and their recycled art creations|
|Isatou brought a HUGE bag of recycled items made by the women in her village in N'Jau, Gambia. |
They make recycled plastic bag coin purses (like in the book!), mini soccer balls, keychains and jewelry.
|We used colorful plastic and paper bags..|
|... to make beautiful collages!|
|What good listeners!|
We had the opportunity to do a book signing at my favorite local bookstore, the Little Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza. I used to go there during the summers as a little kid!
|Miranda Paul, Isatou Ceesay and myself, standing in front of the mini house that kids (and limber enough grown-ups) can sit inside of to read!|
If you're curious about the process, check out this YouTube video of Isatou doing her demonstration:
(I had to watch this like five times to figure out how to do it myself)
Next came a school-wide assembly at Tamarac Elementary School, in Brunswick/Brittonkill,
Presentations and workshops at Brown School in Schenectady,
and at Wildwood School in Schenectady. Students created loads of recycled art projects, and they even wrote a song about One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia!
|Collaged "Welcome to Wildwood" sign.|
|Still lifes with recycled plastic bottles and paper flowers.|
|A collaborative classroom art piece with a chicken wire screen and plastic bag strips.|
What a great way to end Isatou and Miranda's visit!
|Book store staff recommendation!|
For more information and upcoming events featuring the book One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia, check out oneplasticbag.com.