Updated: Mar 9
Book: Neon Leon by Jane Clarke and Britta Teckentrup
Craft: Printmaking & Collage
Age: 2 - 6
Our Book for Today
Neon Leon is a beautiful book, and a new favourite of mine. It is written by Jane Clarke, illustrated by Britta Teckentrup, and published by Nosy Crow. Not only is it fabulously colourful, but it is creatively educational too, and what can beat that!
In the book we follow the story of Leon, an incredibly bright chameleon who has trouble using his camouflage like all the other chameleons. We explore the leafy green jungle, bright yellow desert, and gloomy grey mountains. This is a super useful element as you are able to look a little into contrasting and complimentary colour, great for colour theory lessons.
Because he is so bright Leon just doesn't seem to fit in, he is so neon he even keeps the other chameleons up at night... We join Leon on his adventure to find a friend with some interactive elements like cheering him up, counting along, and learning all about different contrasting colours! I simply couldn't resist this bright beauty when I saw it on the shelves.
On the back of the book we even have a QR code to scan for a free reading with background noises. I love playing these during classes or makes so that the littlies are reminded of why we are making what we are making! I also find it keeps a bit more focus on the task at hand too.
So now we have our book, what are we making today? Let's begin with what you need.
1. Coloured card | this can be A4 or A3
2. White paper
3. Black pen
4. Glue stick
5. Paint | poster/tempera paint will work best
6. Paint tray | a paper plate will do
7. Bubble wrap
LET'S MAKE A LEON
Arty Party Book Club Make
1. Begin by printing out your chameleon outline on your coloured paper (you can find this at the bottom of this post under top tips)!
2. Place your paint on a tray and dip in your bubble wrap, so just the bubbles are covered! These are going to make Leon's spots. Now pop this over your chameleon print out and rub in small motions on the back. In printmaking this is called hand burnishing! You can use different sizes of bubble wrap, and different colours to make him extra bright.
3. Lift your bubbles up and now let Leon dry, it won't take long. As long as your paint is in a nice thin layer you only need to allow around 5 minutes. Once his spots are finished you need to cut him out! This could be a job for parents or the little person, dependant on how dexterous they are.
4. Now to finish him off we need to give him a eye and a mouth. Use your plain paper to draw yourself and eye. You can do this simply by drawing one big circle, with a little one in the middle. Cut it out and pop it on! Last of all we need to give him a nice smiley mouth. Draw a nice smile directly on to Leon, all you need is a nice curvy line! Now see if you can hide him! Where around your house will Leon be camoflage?
• there is no need to use my print out, you can always draw and cut out your very own chameleon outline.
• rather than using coloured card you might like to use a piece of painted paper, this will give you a nice bright background!
• jazz your chameleon up a little by using a big googly eye instead!
• if you don't want to use the bubble wrap and paint, you can always use paint sticks or pens to create your dots. I highly recommend Little Brian Day Glow Paint Sticks, they are water soluble, incredibly bright, and super easy to use!
Now if you fancy making a Leon for yourself, you can buy Neon Leon in both board and paperback here! Make sure to send me a picture of all your Leons hiding around the house on Instagram @deburiart. Until then.
Come back for more making!
Georgia de B.