Long before the idea of being a journalist came into my head, I dreamed of growing up to be a cartoonist.
Drawing was my favourite thing to do as a little girl and I’d make my own cartoon strips and characters for hours on end.
Art Attack, Hartbeat with Tony Hart and Rolf’s Cartoon Club (the less said of that, the better…) were TV favourites. And the modern day equivalent has to be Draw With Rob.
Author-illustrator Rob Biddulph started his online draw along sessions during the first lockdown to give kids stuck at home something positive to do twice a week.
It was an instant hit, with thousands tuning in to learn how to create some of Rob’s characters – and the official World Book Day illustrator sharing their efforts on his social media.
There was even a Guinness World Record for the biggest online art lesson, with 46,611 joining him to draw a whale in May 2020, and Rob’s efforts to inspire children earned him a prestigious Points of Light award from the Prime Minister.
Alas, Baby Bookworm hasn’t inherited by artistic gene but since starting school, he is more enthusiastic about putting pencil to paper.
So as part of his homeschooling activities for World Book Day, we decided to both give one of Rob’s sessions a go – and Odd Dog Out was the obvious choice. It was one of our first picture books to read together at bedtimes and we could soon recite all the words.
Draw With Rob sessions – which can all be found on his website and YouTube – are about 25 minutes long and easy to follow.
Rob has a really relaxed manner and breaks the drawing process down into tiny steps, with room for adding your own flair.
I got straight into it but Baby Bookworm initially went off piste with a treasure map (!) before being drawn in. Pun intended!
We were both very proud of our finished illustrations and I hope this will be the start of an enjoyable activity we can do together on rainy days.
The success of Rob’s masterclasses has spawned a series of Draw With Rob art activity books and the third one is out on World Book Day 2021. It’s 64-pages of colourful and fun things to do, all themed around creating characters and making your own book.
And who knows? Maybe your child could grow up to be the next official World Book Day illustrator, just like Mr Biddulph himself?
Watch all of the Draw With Rob videos at robbiddulph.com
Draw With Rob: Build A Story by Rob Biddulph is out now. £6.99, HarperCollins Children’s. Buy from Amazon