Silverstein, Ferlinghetti, and Animation: Bring a Book to Life

Silverstein, Ferlinghetti, and Animation: Bring a Book to Life

As a child I remember certain books that I really connected with. That said I also remember some cartoons, superheroes, and toys that I was pretty fond of as well! But in all honesty, there were certain books that made me think, that I truly enjoyed, and that helped my imagination open and expand. One of the first books that I can remember having this effect on me was Shell Silverstien’s A Light In The Attic.

“Think long thoughts in short sentences” -Ferlinghetti

“If I had wheels instead of feet
And roses ‘stead of eyes
Then I could drive to the flower show
And maybe win a prize.” – Silverstein

I can remember loving reading the poems, short stories, and ramblings. I remember being amazed by the illustrations, and trying to figure out how simple pen drawings could evoke so much feeling. I remember the sense of satisfaction at the age of 6 or 7, that I could read 5 pages at night and go on 5 completely different journeys. As a child, this was amazing stuff!

So let’s fast forward about 30 years. I still get excited to open up a Shel Silverstein book and read through his stories. In addition to Mr. Silverstein, I have also developed a love of other authors, poets, musicians, and artists. For example just this morning I was reading through Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Poetry as Insurgent Art. While Ferlinghetti’s book lacks the creative illustrations of A Light In The Attic, its simple, short, and highly visual phrases give me that same sense of vision, thought, and creativity that I felt as a child.

So if you have stuck with me this far, you now get to see how this all ties into what we do at iCreate to Educate and animation. It should be no surprise that some of Shel Silverstein’s poems and stories have in fact been animated, but I am going to take it one step further. The next time you are looking for an animation project for yourself, your students, or any old time, I challenge you to try to bring your favorite childhood book to life. I had the joy of jumping into this with my own children this past weekend, and watching the creativity and exploration was amazing. By bringing the story to life, my children dug far deeper into the books than they ever had. Characters were recreated, lands reinterpreted, and stories retold from the perspective of a 5 year old. This very project was able to teach them about story format, character creation, problem solving, and also made them stop and think about each small component of the story (remember last week’s post). Upon completion, they were so excited that they made their very own version of a beloved story, and built new skills!

With that I challenge you to revisit those old stories, pull out those childhood books, get nostalgic, and get animating! Its fun to unlock your inner child, and to help build the creative foundation of generations to come!


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