Making a School Storybook

21st March 2016 - By 

Here you can see some of the process of taking the original work by children to becoming their final book.

The children and teachers had been working for weeks to put together their stories and illustrations. Each class sought inspiration in ways that complemented areas of the curriculm they were working on. Some visited local museums and places of interest and others researched local history, legends and stories.

For this book the older children in Year 6 chose to create a series of poems. This contrasts nicely with the younger year groups which use simpler stories and some brilliant illustrations.

Once complete, the written stories are emailed over and the illustrations arrive in a pile of paint, glue and crayons 🙂

Before that lot can be dealt with, the stories need to be ‘copy-edited’. This involves checking for spellings and punctuation inconsistencies and looking out for things such as a character’s hair colour not matching with the illustrations.

After copy-editing the stories are stripped of all formatting and then placed onto the pages of the book. This is the stage that the layout begins to be planned and decisions are made about where to place page breaks and which stories lend themselves to double-page spreads.

The next stage is to see how much room is available for the illustrations and begin to work through that big pile of drawings. Every illustration is scanned and then edited. Different illustrations are often combined into one scene. This makes illustrations interesting and is a great way to make use of different children’s work.

Characters can be digitally manipulated to appear in different positions throughout the stories and their facial expressions altered to suit the mood of the text they sit with.

The next part can be tricky as it involves ensuring the text is as clear as possible while showing as much of the illustrations as possible. To achieve this the colours and sizes of the drawings are tweaked along with the text and titles.

When this has been completed for each story, the first draft is complete and this is sent to the school to check for errors and changes.

When all changes are complete and everyone is happy, the next stage is to create a book cover. This is usually inspired by the title of the book and for this book a selection of work by children in every year group was combined to make the final cover image.

Again this has to be checked and approved. Once done, the book can then be sent to print. Copies are then provided to the school who by then are busy organising their next challenge – their book launch event.

You can find more details about STORIES4CHANGE and register your school here.

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