Sunday, November 09, 2008

Home again, home again

Home last night, after a short flight from Calgary.

Energized by all the wonderful presentations and ideas drifting around at the Kaleidoscope Conference. Most inspiring were those by Jack Zipes whose approach to storytelling as a way to build community and expand children's confidence in themselves and their own stories has given me lots of think about and work on as I present to children and develop workshop ideas. His work inspires me to go beyond the 'mere' act of writing for children, to looking for new ways to engage them in my work, and their own.

Michael Morpurgo is well-known in the UK - where he held the position of Children's Laureate for two years and has published more than 20 books - less so perhaps on this side of the pond. His animated presentations, his humanity and humour brought his own stories alive in both the keynote speech at the event banquet, and his Saturday afternoon presentation. I went away humming with ideas and the pressing need to get back to work! And a copy of his book War Horse, which I devoured in just a couple of sittings.

Other presentations were amusing, insightful, and entertaining. Most enjoyable perhaps as mere entertainment were those by JanetStevens (one word, as her readers refer to her) as she created a new character in front of our eyes, keeping up an informative and engaging patter as she did so.

Do I really have to wait another four years until the next Kaleidoscope?
As soon as the date is set, you can be sure I'll be signing up.

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