This afternoon I did my second perform- ance at the Children's Museum of Connecticut in New Haven for their Saturdays at 2 literature series. Daniel Barash, a puppeteer I met by chance at City Wide Open Studios this year, hooked me up and gave me the idea of drawing while my books were read.
The first time I did this with Pig of the Pig I was a wreck. I haven't had a lot of success drawing big in marker on the spot. Kids are surprisingly good at pointing out mistakes. But I was heartened by the enthusiastic response me and my reader, Tory Church, got from our audience of 50 or so 1 - 8 year olds and their parents. It was a fast and furious 20 minute session of drawing, and a few kids did let me know they noticed I cheated with pre-drawn pencil lines.
This time I did One Grain of Sand to another full house. Daniel sang the lyrics as I drew and puppeteered some animal and planetary cutouts into the picture. I was still a wreck, but the slower pace and breaks from drawing gave me more room to relax and play a little. It's a sad kind of tune, and this is the book I connect to my friend Sam who died, making me more serious and melancholy then usual. But Daniel's beautiful singing and the silent, intense attention of the children made those few minutes powerfully magical. I think we did pretty well. We got great applause.
First photo: a lingering audience member standing before my motley little crew of glittery puppet characters and drawings that came together to make one little world by the end of the song.