Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dinotopia at the Children’s House

Dr. Jo Ann Leggett, director of the Children’s House of Victoria, Texas recently completed a Dinotopia-themed project for the school’s summer program.

The kids got an opportunity to try a funny face contest, as well as dinosaur musical parades, and a “water ride down under.”

There were some brave efforts at plank walking. They played ping pong with Zippo and they designed t-shirts. Kids, parents, and faculty worked together to paint dinosaur murals.

A section by the back fence transformed into Treetown. A sprinkler in a tree became Waterfall City, and the kids put on their swimsuits and played under the water spray.

Bagels on dowels brought to life the Kentrosaurus Bakery from Journey to Chandara.

Dr. Leggett wrote in summary:
“I have been in business for 30 years and I have never experienced the response your Dinotopia has made on all assets of our program. The fact that you correlated all subject matter—art, science, social studies, music, and math in your book made our task of a progressive educational experience easy. Dinotopia is not just a book. It is an experience to be treasured for generations.”

To which I say, the success of the program is more of a tribute to Dr. Leggett’s amazing creativity and enthusiasm, along with her faculty, parents, and students. Without their imagination, Dinotopia would remain dormant on the page.

To other teachers planning your upcoming school year, I hope you’ll consider doing a Dinotopia curriculum theme. If you write me about your plans using your school stationery and include a self-addressed stamped envelope, I’ll be happy to send you a free list of suggested games and activities and a signed card to help you get the ball rolling.

James Gurney
Dinotopia School Event
PO Box 693
Rhinebeck, NY 12572

You can contact Dr. Jo at <doctorjoa@aol.com>


Unknown said...

What lucky kids!
I certainly remember the influence Dinotopia had on my childhood. I can even remember a few Dinotopia-themed Christmases. I wouldn't be surprised if you planted the seeds of a few future animators, Jim.
Keep up the superb work!

James Gurney said...

Munchanka, we all cheered when we saw the name Austin Madison roll by on the credits for Wall-e. All the animators on your team deserve great credit on the show. You created a thinking, feeling character from a mechanical being. I love the way the timing and style of the action didn't try to imitate a flesh-and-blood creature, but he really looked like he was powered by servo motors.

Unknown said...

This is awesome. Munchanka's right, lucky kids.

K_tigress said...

Oh I just love these. That’s something we would have done as kids in the summer. We would make up crazy games and make things with our favourite themes with all the rest of the neighbour hood kids. Birthdays in the summer were a real hoot too. I was lucky enough to live on a dead end street for that to all happen. Plus we had the added bonus of large yards too.
Sigh I miss those days.

Oh it also reminds me of a certain photo my mother has. Its of my mother when she was a daycare teacher and her little charges dressed up in or as flowers and other spring time characters parading down a neighbour hood street. They are celebrating a spring time day which is very much like Halloween but instead of celebrating death, you are celebrating life.

DrJo said...

Dear James,
My grandma is Dr JoAnn and she and i adored the pictures that you created for her school unit on your blog!! They were awesome!!!!! I love face making and that you signed me and my sisters books!! I have decoded most of the signs in your book!!!! I love all of your pictures in the books they are so imaginative!!!! Thank you for everything that you have done for our family!!! I will look at your blogs often!!!! Keep up the great work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


DrJo said...

I finally had a chance to do Gurney Journey. I was thrilled to see TCH pictures. That was keen correlating them to the original ideas of the pictures in your books. The children and staff at TCH are going to incorporate our BEACH unit into the DINOTOPIA unit by putting dolphins, sharks, chambered nautilus paintings around Tree Town, etc. After all, dolphin backs arrived in Dinotopia. Dr. Jo

DrJo said...

Not many centers are creative and art centered as Dr. jo's school. she is really into making kids think and use their imagination as the creative tool. Thanks to Gurney and his dinotopia series that turned into a play and learning summer camp.