We dropped in on a group of young explorers as they navigated the pages of Majel van der Meulen's My London, pens and pencils in hand, under the careful stewardship of the author herself…
Super-talented Amsterdam-based lllustrator Majel van der Meulen has just created two fantastic new activity books for Laurence King, based on her most favourite cities to visit. My London and My New York are packed with opportunities to colour, draw and explore your city of choice, and there are even some handy pull-out postcards to send to your friends when you’re on your travels (be they real or imaginary). There’s so much fun stuff to do – you can fill the Tate Modern with posters, create your own New York pizza, or draw your friends and family way up high in the London Eye.
We dropped in on a group of young explorers as they navigated the pages of My London, pens and pencils in hand, under the careful stewardship of the author herself. “It’s all about the kids talking and telling a story while they draw – they make lots of sounds!” explains Majel. “It’s a bit like playing on stage. They’re inventing how it will work, adding sounds… and kids are so flexible in adapting the activity to their own interests and to the moment.” Over to you kids…
1 Prepare for take-off!
“I’m on the plane to London, you can play the stewardess. Pencils please!”
2 Woo-hoo! Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo
“I like it that animals live in the city. I draw them with a pencil, keeping them in black, so it’s almost like they are printed in the book. I have a hedgehog, squirrel and an owl: hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo.”
3 Happy colours
“A rainbow bridge, so then you’ll walk through colours, like a colour run! The bridge starts and ends with stairs in the form of huge clouds. In the middle of the bridge you can jump off for a swim. Rainbows make me smile!”
4 Monsters & Trucks
“In my museum room there are exploding planets, Lego heroes, monster trucks and a tag of my name…I wanna be a graffiti artist!”
5 Sweets treats
“Those skyscrapers, that’s the financial district! Next to it I wanna make a Candy City with sugar stores, a factory, headquarters, a warehouse. They’ll have huge sweets: a lollypop, a gummi bear or a sugar heart that says ‘my sugar’ in neon letters. When I grow up I want to be the boss, make sweets for everyone and give a party!”
6 The Lions' Walk
“Let’s create a lion city walk: from the Westminster Bridge lion statue, follow the lions’ heads along the riverbank, the four lion statues at Trafalgar Square that guard Nelson’s Column at its centre…and of course don’t miss the lions in London Zoo. There are so many lions in London, let’s find them all!”
“I’m gonna make a huge bridge of a lion, his mane is made of glass. I’ll draw a museum with a lion exhibition and I’ll invite many children, like you do, to come and draw lions.”
7 Ooh… Aah...
“On New Year’s Eve there will be fireworks from the gun turrets. It’s spectacular, with big bangs, crackling, popping, whizzing whistles and thunderous thudding sounds.”
8 My Monsters & Trucks exhibition at the Tate Modern
Grab your copy of My London here, and stay tuned for part two: NYC!