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The Curved House Editor

Vislit Visual Literacy Conference

The 2014 International Visual Literacy Conference

By | Events, Visual Literacy

Toledo Museum of Art Visual Literacy Conference VISLIT

The Toledo Museum of Art is hosting the 47th Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy (IVLA), this year’s theme being The Art of Seeing: From Ordinary to Extraordinary.

Conference events include Panel Discussions and Paper Presentations to interactive Workshops and Demonstrations which brings together teachers, researchers, students, artists and anyone else with interest in the field of visual literacy to discuss and critique work and practices.

We hope to attend the conference and engage with other thinkers and do-ers, movers and shakers, working in visual literacy education and we’re looking forward to hearing about the outcomes of the various workshops and events.

Head over to the VISLIT resource page as well, for an excellent introduction to visual literacy, perfect for anyone wanting to know how they can improve visual literacy through art.

Parents: Can’t get to Toledo? Don’t worry! There is even a family guide resource so you can explore the museum and visual literacy with the kids without having to leave the house!


Martin Scorcese Video on the Importance of Visual Literacy

By | Visual Literacy

Our favourite bushy-browed filmmaker, Martin Scorcese, discusses the importance of the filmmaker’s visual decisions in conveying aspects of the story that can’t be told through dialogue. He notes that students today “need to know how ideas and emotions are expressed through a visual form” – such as the filmmaker’s tools such as lighting, panning the camera, and framing an image — to make an emotional and psychological point to an audience.

Aaaaaand ACTION!

international children's book day

Free Shipping today only to Celebrate International Children’s Book Day

By | Blog, Events, News, Uncategorized

international children's book dayWhoa! It’s International Children’s Book Day and we are celebrating. Our authors and illustrators are visiting schools in London and Berlin today to make some collaborative books with kids. Meanwhile, over in our shop we are offering FREE SHIPPING anywhere in the world for today only AND we will choose one lucky customer to win one of our hand-printed Pillow Books. How very awesome!

Just in time for Easter so you can pick up some of our Make-Your-Own books to keep the kids busy over the holidays.

Free shipping today only

Visit the Curved House Shop and use this discount code at the checkout:


Remember this is for today only.

Teachers ahoy!

Are you a teacher looking for something to do with your kids today? Here’s our Pirate Power poem that you can download, print and get your kids to illustrate. Don’t forget to upload some pictures to our Kids Gallery – we’d love to see what the kids come up with!

Wishing you all a very happy International Children’s Book Day.

illustrate your own book with curved house kids

Click to Download Pirate PowEnjoy and a very happy International Children’s Book Day to you


world book day banner

Make Your Own Book for World Book Day 2014

By | Blog, Events, Teaching Resources, Worksheets

World Book Day 2014 LogoHey, in case you didn’t know, this Thursday, 6th March, is World Book Day and that makes this week World Book Week. Woohoo! What could be better than a week long bonanza of books and stories. How are you celebrating World Book Day? We’re celebrating by visiting some schools, hanging out with awesome kids and by sharing some of our super dooper make-your-own books with you.

Illustrate your own book for World Book Day!

Every day this week we will release a page from our book Pirate Power, written by Kitty Healy. Kitty is a great writer but not the best illustrator, so we need lots of awesome, creative kids to do the drawings.

Download, print and scribble every day and on Friday you will have a complete book of your very own. If you want to display your fine work in our online gallery you can send us a pic or upload it directly to:

Get scribbling!


Click to download the first page of your book

World Book Day 2014 Pirates


Click the image below to download the second page of your book!

world book day pirate power by curved house kids


Wow, we’re halfway there! Click the image below to download the third page of your book!

Make your own book world book day 2014


Come ‘ere me pirate pals, happy World Book Day! Click the image below to download the last page of you book and tomorrow you can download the cover to complete your make-your-own book for World Book Day.

world book day 2014 activity curved house kids


You’re nearly there! Now you just need to illustrate your cover, dedicate your book to someone special and then you’re done. Congratulations pals, what an amazing achievement to finish your very own book! Click the image below to download your cover.


Visit the awesome World Book Day 2014 website
Primary Literacy Workshops Curved House Kids Make Your Own Books

Pictiur Family Day at the Irish Museum of Modern Art: 11 Jan 2014

By | Blog, Events

One of my dreams for Curved House Kids is for it to inspire people to work together to produce and personalise their own books. Whether that’s parents and their children, teachers and their pupils, older siblings and younger siblings, babysitters, guardians, carers… the idea of collaboration is fundamental to all the work I do and especially to Curved House Kids. So it was such a thrill to see one of our books – My Summer Snowman by Chester Travis – featured as part of the Pictiur Family Day at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Dublin.  The Family Day was part of the bigger Pictuir children’s book illustration exhibition featuring work by Lily Bernard, Alan Clarke, Olivia Golden, Chris Haughton, Paul Howard, Oliver Jeffers, Chris Judge, Niamh Sharkey and many more amazing Irish artists.

Kids had the opportunity to illustrate their own copy of My Summer Snowman and as we can see from the pictures here there are some brilliant illustrations as a result. But the very best thing about it is seeing families and friends working together on their books – collaborating, sharing and building something special together. Here’s what IMMA said about it: 

“My Summer Snowman was integral to a recent event I curated at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) relating to children’s book illustrations and storytelling. The event was in response to an exhibition taking place in the museum at the time of Irish children’s book illustrations called Pictiur, and saw several illustrators, artists and authors working with children and parents to develop their own imagery and stories. My Summer Snowman proved extremely popular on the day, and provided families the opportunity to sit, read and imagine how they might use imagery to represent the story being told. It supported family learning, visual language skills, group work, reflection and developing a child’s imagination. It’s an excellent project and I hope to collaborate with Curved House Kids in the future.” – Katie Fitzpatrick

What an exciting day for our little books. Big thanks to Katy Fitzpatrick and all the fab IMMA staff involved in planning the day.


See more pictures from the day on IMMA’s Facebook page.

Primary Literacy Workshops Curved House Kids Make Your Own Books

4-year-old Lilly wins our My Summer Snowman illustration competition

By | Blog, News

Drum roll please….

The winner of our My Summer Snowman cover illustration competition is… LILLY. Lilly is just 4 years old and her illustration shows a special something when it comes to drawing. Our super dooper judge, Ben Hawkes, said this about Lilly’s drawing:

“BOOOM! My favourite, not only is the snowman/woman walking but there is a castle and a really well drawn tent. Colours are fab and looking at it makes me happy.”

Well done Lilly, you did a great job and we can’t wait to see what else you draw for us!

Lilly has won 20 copies of any of our books for her friends or classmates plus a visit from the awesome author of My Summer Snowman, Chester Travis.

We don’t officially have runners up in this competition but Judge Ben also asked us to acknowledge his other favourites. MIRA (8) and ALFRED (6) came a very close second:

“MIRA – a beautiful snowman and wonderful collage, I love the tree and the arms of the snowman. The carrot is fab, I am slightly jealous!”

“ALFRED – I love this, beautifully drawn snowman and I love the green hat and very beautifully draw face.”

Thank you to all the creative kids who entered their work into our first ever drawing competition. There will be lots more to come so keep your pencils sharp and your imaginations wild!

About our judge

Ben Hawkes is the talented illustrator of Grandma’s Jungle Party. He has also illustrated for Random House, M&S, Ribena and many others AND he has just finished illustrating a brand new reading App, Hip Hop Hen. Check out his work here:

Primary Literacy Workshops Curved House Kids Make Your Own Books

Reading Images: An introduction to visual literacy

By | Advice for Parents, Blog, Events, Teaching Resources, Visual Literacy

“Images are all around us, and the ability to interpret them meaningfully is a vital skill for students to learn.”
– Melissa Thibault and David Walbert, authors of Reading images: an introduction to visual literacy.

Have you heard of “visual literacy”? If you’re a parent or teacher struggling to engage your kids with learning, maybe this is something that can unlock things for you (and for them!). It has worked for us.

The Curved House Kids series of books is based on the belief that some kids are visual learners – they see the world in pictures so by providing books without words we invite them to understand how to interpret images and then use language to express what they see and understand. Similarly, by providing books without pictures we allow kids to reinforce their comprehension and vocabulary by drawing what they read. They are etching knowledge into their brains AND having fun at the same time! This is a visual literacy technique to teach children to read, write and use their imaginations but there are many other ways to use visual literacy in the home or in schools.

If you’re interested in learning more about it and want to try some visual literacy techniques, LEARN NC (a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education in the US), has put together a good primer on the topic, aimed at educators of students from Kindergarten through 12th Grade (early years through secondary school in the UK). The overview links to a variety of lesson plans on the subject, tagged to note the appropriate grade level for each lesson.

Click here to visit the Learn NC website for lesson plans and other great resources…