Last week, I had the privilege of attending a workshop for the preppies and year ones by Dr Cameron Stelzer. He has a load full of books including picture books that follow the cute character called ‘The Stroogle’, the Pie-Rats series for older middle-grade readers and the Scallywags series for younger middle graders.
The Stroogle picture books are vividly illustrated and remind me of the Graham Base books, colourful and rich in detail. While following the Stroogle on exciting adventures, your little reader will enjoy finding things in the illustrations! At the workshops, Dr Cameron taught the littlies how to draw the Stroogle, with simple step by step instructions.
I was amazed to witness an attentive prep class, hanging off Dr Cameron’s every word. He is not only a master presenter but also knows how to get the kids actively participating too. Dr Cameron explained how he created his characters giving the kids easy tips to create their own. Then it was down to business. Everyone got busy looking for props around the room and drawing their own characters. One girl drew an excellent bunny character with a flowery head. She called it a flower bunny!
The workshop included a writing activation session too. Dr Cameron told the preppies how he found stories in memories and everyday observations, exaggerated for effect of course! When prompted to write, all the little ones did exactly that! It was heartening to see them all thinking hard and writing away!
Dr Cameron Stelzer has a way of encouraging the children not to worry about spelling or messy writing and easing them into a happy confident place where creativity flows.
Dr. Cameron also has a set of Learn to draw books which are easy to follow and hugely popular with the kids. When the year ones came for their workshop, he showed them how to draw the best treasure maps ever! In the writing activation session, all the kids were excitedly thinking and discussing the funny things that had happened to them and turning those into great story starters.
Clearly the children love Dr Cameron’s books. One kid from year one said that they had the whole Stroogle collection which was their favourite books to read, and his older brother in year 6 was enjoying the Pie Rats books.
We’ve ordered the Scallywags book for our summer reading, and will be back with a review soon! Check out the cool black t–shirts and hoodies with hilarious characters on them. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our Chomping-Croc t-shirt!
I was so glad I could attend these workshops! In Dr Cameron, I saw an accomplished author/illustrator, an excellent presenter, an influencer and a master entrepreneur. I hope your kids get a chance to experience his fun, informative sessions and realise that writing and illustrating is something they could do too. You know, there will never be a shortage for the need for stories or art, and I’m sure this is one industry that won’t be taken over by robots!