July 1st, 2020

Bookshow at Home with Jo Empson

Welcome to this week's Bookshow at Home! Join us as we journey into the jungle with our Book of the Week, the delightful, colourful picture book, Jungle Jamboree, by author and illustrator, Jo Empson. Jo reads the story to us and shows us how to draw a roaring lion, and then we've got lots of creative activities for you to try. You can sign up to our newsletter here, or follow us on twitter @ChildrensBkShow. Our activities should appeal to all kinds of readers, writers and artists, so everyone can get involved.

Book of the Week: Jungle Jamboree

All the animals in the jungle are excited about tonight's jamboree, but none of them think they look quite perfect enough to win the prize for most beautiful of all. Every page of this book is brimming with life, telling a story about self acceptance, kindness, and a great party.

Author in focus

Jo's background as a graphic designer has had a great influence on her work. Her illustrations are inspired by nature, with a strong sense of shape, colour and design. She loves playing with colour in the form of a visual narrative. Her abiding wish is to produce beautiful books with depth and meaning, along with a sense of fun and surprise!

She is never happier than when she is swept away in storytelling – in all its aspects – whether it be writing, illustrating or just reading a favourite picture book (which she still does every night!)

Jo's other books include Rabbityness and Little Home Bird.

Watch Jo read Jungle Jamboree

After the story, Jo will show you how to draw a roaring lion, so you might want to have pens and paper ready!

Jo Activities!

Make a Wax Resist Picture

Create your own interpretation of Jo’s stunning illustration, using the art technique of wax resist. You will need:

White card or thick paper
Wax crayons
Paint (watercolours are ideal for this technique but you can use any water-based paint and water it down)
Fine paintbrush

Step 1
Draw the animals, including the firefly, using wax crayons. Make sure you press down hard to achieve bright, bold and solid colours – this is very important in preparation for Step 3!

Step 2
Draw the squiggly Firefly’s trail with a white or yellow crayon.

Step 3
Using the sponge, apply a wash of paint across the whole of the paper. If you are not using watercolour paints, it is important to add just a small amount of paint with lots of water to achieve a watery consistency. The wax crayon should resist the paint, ensuring that the colours remain bold against the background. If any paint sits on top of the wax crayon, simply wipe it away with a dry part of the sponge.

Step 4
Once the background is dry, mix some darker shades of blue (these don’t need to be watery) and use the fine paint brush to add some plants and leaves.

Make a Proud Cloud

Before the Jungle Jamboree, the animals did not feel proud of themselves, all finding fault in their appearances. None of them thought about what makes them beautiful on the inside. It took the firefly’s kindness to help them see that they are beautiful just the way they are and that beauty can be found on the inside too.

What makes you proud to be you? Draw a ‘Proud Cloud’ and fill it with words and pictures to tell everyone what makes you proud!

Make a Kindness Jar

"The firefly’s kindness was the most beautiful thing of all."

How could you show kindness like the firefly? Think of lots of different ways of being kind to someone. The acts of kindness could be something you could do at home for someone in your family, or maybe they could show kindness to someone outside your household such as a neighbour, grandparent or a friend.

Write each act of kindness on a piece of paper and put them all into a jar.

Decorate your jar to make it look really special. Each day, choose an act of kindness from the jar. Making other people happy will make you feel happy too!

We'd love to see your pictures, proud clouds and kindness jars. To send us your work to display in our gallery use the link below, or upload to twitter with the hashtag #BookshowAtHome. We're very impressed with the work we've received so far (select an image for a closer look)...

Email us your work for our gallery

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