This week my Atelierista duties brought me into the class of the Robin’s. This delightful group of children are theatrical and completely engaged with expressing themselves through their bodies. As I got to know them it became apparent that they were all interested in vastly different subjects, like dinosaurs and planes and dancing. So i decided to write a story with them in hopes that we could tie all of their interests together through this format.
We began in the park one day and two little girls started off the story in the forest “where there are bears and stuff and lots of animals that jump, and some can hop”… one of those animals was a bunny that ate carrots and bananas. Soon the boys jumped in and “leopards and cheetahs and jaguars and also dinosaurs and also sea monsters and poisonous squids and sharks and also birds from Ecuador and swimming lizards and seagulls” appeared… (and that was just the contribution of one little boy). And we found out that jaguars are especially nice and that all the animals were getting together to get toys and play stuff and make shapes. While we talked the boys continued to build a diverse ecosystem of characters, adding bumblebees and kangaroo’s and crocodiles… and they flew around the park like birds and crawled on the ground like gecko’s and walked tall like giraffe’s.
Then another day came and another group of girls began to add to the story… They started with some people having a picnic in the forest where they ate bananas and watermelon and fish crackers and hot dogs! And then came the dance party… the girls began to act out this scene and they danced and danced until they got tired, taking occasional breaks to rest their bodies for just a minute, until they were ready to dance and dance some more. Then the people from the dance party picnic hopped over to another forest where they found a place to nap, and when they went to sleep, they dreamt about cheesy noodles and mashed potatoes.
Meanwhile one of the other girls that left the dance party picnic, she said, ” I went to eat chocolate noodles at my house but then a monster came to eat it! He looked like a huge monster inc. and he lived in the monster world and then went to the cottage and tried to eat all the food… but i said “Shoo, go away! I’d love to eat you but I already ate a whole castle today- SO GO AWAY!”
And I said, “Wow! You said that to the monster?” and she said “Yes”… and then I told the whole story from beginning to end to another one of our friends (the one that began it with the bunnies who eat bananas) and she said “You’re talking about the Paper Bag Princess”… And I said… “Hmmm… I thought it sounded familiar.” But still I was impressed with the interpretation and how our little girl took on the the roll of the dragon and stood up to the monster- I’m sure Robert Munsch would be proud too, if he only knew.
Right now we are considering the title for this piece, some names that have been suggested are ‘Pooka‘, ‘You’re Talking About the Paper Bag Princess’, and my favorite… ‘BBbbbbbbbrrrBbbbbbbbbrrr Dudda Dudda Dudda Dudda Dudda!’