"The Tale of Hot Dog and His Missing Green Shirt"

This past month I started volunteering with a wonderful organization called Big Class, an organization that supports young writers and storytellers in New Orleans.  In Big Class we create in-school programs and projects (like this Animal Origin Stories book) as well as projects in the St. Claude Big Class studio.

For "The Tale of Hot Dog and His Missing Green Shirt", Big Class invited 2nd graders from Sylvanie Williams College Prep to help the Big Classmates finish a book on a tight deadline!

That afternoon the 2nd graders helped us create a whole book from scratch.  While the kids were shouting ideas I was busy sketching down ideas for their characters and environment.  The main character ended up being a grouchy dog, named Hot Dog, who lived behind a movie theater.  Supporting characters are a raccoon, rat, cat, and skunk.
After the main story line and characters were created, the students then received blank paper to write their own ending and draw their own concluding illustration!

Here are my initial sketched from the kids' ideas they were giving our director, Doug, and the "typist", Eliza".  Second graders, by the way, are idea machines! It was very difficult to keep up with them they kept adding more and more awesome details to the story's characters and setting.

Here are my initial sketched from the kids' ideas they were giving our director, Doug, and the "typist", Eliza".  Second graders, by the way, are idea machines! It was very difficult to keep up with them they kept adding more and more awesome details to the story's characters and setting.

Each student received their own copy of the book the following week.
Here are three of the final illustrations and a pattern made from the initial sketches:

 
Working with Big Class is always a blast!!  It was crazy fun for me to record the 2nd graders insane ideas and fun for the students to have a "real professional artist" in the studio to work with them.