I picked up my daughter from school on Thursday. Once she was settled in the car I asked, "What would be the coolest way to celebrate Denise Fleming's birthday?" She initially shrugged her shoulders, but then answered, "I don't know, pulp painting." I replied, "That is a great idea. But, how about going to meet her?" It took a few seconds to register and then she said with a fist pump, "That would be awesome!"
The Cleveland Public Library first hosted Denise Fleming
, the 1994 Caldecott Honor Recipient for In a Small, Small Pond
, on January 8, 2011 at the West Park Branch Library. She read many of her books and instructed a group of children in the art of pulp painting. Pulp painting (click here to watch a video demonstration
) is described on her website
as an art technique that uses "cotton rag that has been beaten to a fine pulp and suspended in water. Then chemicals and pigments are added." The pulp becomes her paint and "cups and squeeze bottles are used instead of brushes."
Denise Fleming returned to Cleveland the week of January 24, 2011 to visit additional library branches. Before our visit, to the Mount Pleasant Branch
on Thursday, January 27, 2011, my son and daughter made birthday cards for her with their best stickers and fancy writing.
At the beginning of the program in Cleveland, Denise Fleming discussed many of her books during a prepared slideshow. This allowed us to learn many new things, including that Mouse in the book Lunch
is very much like Denise Fleming herself because "she loves food and is a bit of a slob." Mouse is also in one of my favorite alphabet books of all time, Alphabet Under Construction
. In this book, Mouse uses power tools and lots of other fun materials. She told the group that she has loved using tools ever since she was a little girl working with her father who spent his free time building furniture!
Next, she demonstrated some of the crafts that are available on her Activities page
of her website. (My daughter loved the book Mama Cat Has Three Kittens
and at home was able to make a Mama Cat Mask
!) She concluded the program by leading the group of children in movements to accompany the reading of In the Tall Tall Grass
. My daughter loved this part!