Ever since they could hold a chalk, in the warmer weather, our children have enjoyed drawing on the sidewalks and driveway. At our old home, we had an expansive concrete patio. One time, the children and I spent days creating a large scale mural of an underwater scene. Now that they are older and able to draw faster, they create their drawings and murals in an afternoon on our concrete driveway. It has been a fun, large scale art experience for our children.
In a similar manner, Gregory, the main character of The Chalk Box Kid, by Clyde Robert Bulla, creates a garden from a box of chalk he found. Only his mural covers three walls of the burnt out factory behind his new house. Over lunch, two days this past week, we read this endearing story about Gregory who moves to a new part of town after his father loses his job.
Because of their interest in sidewalk drawing, and this recent read aloud, I thought they would like Pavement Chalk Artist: The Three-Dimensional Drawings of Julian Beever, by Julian Beever. I was right! Beever is a phenomenal artist who creates realistic, 3D drawings on city sidewalks. The book is partly autobiographical and partly a catalog of his work. We did not read the book from cover to cover. Instead, we simply browsed through the book, discussing his techniques, and appreciating his art. The children and I were fascinated with how lifelike the pictures seemed. In the text, Beever discusses how he got started in pavement drawing and some of the challenges like drawing over the cracks, obtaining permits, and weather.