Berkhamsted and Tring Gazette

Chaulden Infants School bookworms learn eye-popping techniques from children’s author

During the visit, he worked with all the pupils in small workshops, showing them techniques and helping them to design and construct their own books.
School spokesman Julie James said: “John is an expert at paper engineering and in his books he creates amazing and surprising pop-ups.
“The children used words such as ‘ wow’, ‘amazing’ and ‘brilliant’ when they realised the pop up effects they had created themselves under his direction.
“The buzz of excitement from the children continued throughout the day and was enjoyed by all.”
Author John also illustrated a picture of a snake and monkey for the school’s main hall wall to mark his visit.

Pop-ups in Borehamwood

From Borehamwood and Elstree Times
9:00am Friday 8th March 2013 in News
Hertswood School children make pop-up books as part of Literacy Week
by Natalie O’Neill

Lit week webPupils at Hertswood School in Thrift Lane looked on with amazement as John O’Leary turned pieces of card into colourful story books on Wednesday.

Teacher Laura Edgar said: “The children caught on very quickly and they’re going to be continuing using the skills in their next lessons.”

The event forms part of Community Literacy Week which is being celebrated by all primary schools in Borehamwood.Ms Edgar said: “The week is a great way of celebrating the joy of reading for pleasure and how important it is.

“Research has shown that children who don’t read for pleasure lag two years behind their peers by the time they’re 15. Literacy Week allows us to demonstrate the value of reading for the whole school community.”

(photo – Author and illustrator John O’Leary shows 13-year-old pupil Ryan John how to make his very own pop-up story book)

Book Week!

school pop-up bookHere’s my line up for this year’s book week.
I’m very excited and looking forward to a series of intense, fun-filled sessions.

26 Feb – St. Mary’s School, Bicester

1 March – Chase Side Primary School, Enfield

5 March – Lindfield Primary School, Lindfield

6 March – Hertswood Academy, Borehamwood

7 March – Thomas’s School, Clapham

8 March – Hereward House School, Hampstead

Match the Paintings

cunningham hill infant 03Photos from my workshops at Cunningham Hill Infant School in St Albans last week. Each of the five classes were studying famous paintings from the National Gallery (including one of my all-time favourites). The children produced their own 3D versions of the paintings over the two days, as well doing their own personal pop-up designs. The 3D paintings aren’t finished yet, so more pictures to follow when I get them from the school.
This was a return visit to this school and it was very gratifying to see that, not only did many of the children remember me, but that they were able to build on what they had previously learnt. They even used some of these previously-learnt techniques when producing their cards last Christmas.cunningham hill infant compositecunningham hill infant 01cunningham hill infant 06b

Pop-ups in Croughton Primary

croughton primary 01I was working with the children at Croughton All Saints Primary School yesterday for the start of an art and books project. The aim was to give the children enough skills to finish the pop-up books in their own time, combining text, illustrations and paper-engineering. This is a beautiful school, situated in a rural village near Banbury, with a warm, friendly atmosphere. I found the children to be very open and enthusiastic about pop-up design and I was able to teach them quite a number of techniques in a relatively short space of time.
croughton primary 02