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The Magic Paintbrush

The Magic Paintbrush

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When we had made our toys we evaluated them. We thought about what was good about our toys and what we would improve if we were to make them again. Miss Boyle's class realised that real pet toys were not made from household goods. We thought about what materials would be used if the toys were made in a factory. We began to use some of our new words from Science to describe them, such as; hard, flexible, transparent etc.

So when he saw the peoples' troubles, he would use his magic paintbrush to help. Then many people knew about the magic paintbrush. Oh it’s no good, you couldn’t” said Arthur. “It would have to be a different one. But look at my picture. There’s no room on it for another dinosaur. No room at all for any big animals. Look, here’s the tiger, and here’s the antelope, and there’s no more space for another big animal.” If you'd like to plan even more lessons exploring this folktale, you'll want to take a look at these activities. The story, whilst there are some advanced aspects to its telling, is suitable for three to eight years olds, which is made possible by the inclusion of cross curricular traits. There are some lovely adjectives, a wide variety of connectives and rhyming words for the children to investigate. When the greedy emperor hears about Shen's magic brush, all he can think about is gold. Shen, however, is determined to only paint food for the hungry and clothes for the needy. But how can a little village girl match an emperor's mighty power?

One of my television songs, A SQUASH AND A SQUEEZE, was made into a book in 1993, with illustrations by the wonderful Axel Scheffler. It was great to hold the book in my hand without it vanishing in the air the way the songs did. This prompted me to unearth some plays I’d written for a school reading group, and since then I’ve had 20 plays published. Most children love acting and it’s a tremendous way to improve their reading. He was admiring how well he had coloured in the dinosaur. There were hardly any spots at all where he had gone outside the lines. But then – what was this? He noticed a tiny little purple spot in the corner of his picture. Oh no! He must have gone outside the lines after all!

The young man drew a large ship and grinned silently. The rich guy hopped onto the ship and set out to find the treasure, but when the ship reached the middle of the sea, Ma Liang created a tremendous wave that sank the ship, and the rich man was never seen again in the village. What do you think it felt like? It felt like the softest butterfly you’ve ever touched. It felt like a Mummy’s kiss in the middle of the night when you have woken up from a nightmare. It felt like a tiny, shiny spiders web drifting from the doorway. After that, the young man lived with his family happily and used the magic paintbrush to help the poor people as the old man had asked him to do and the magic paintbrush was known and loved by everyone. Enjoyed this story? It must be the paintbrushes,” said Digby. “I think we’ve got magic paintbrushes. Everything we paint, turns into something real. I think Arthur, you’d better paint something for the tiger to eat, because he is probably hungry.”

To box up a story for purpose

It’s late boys!” said a voice, and Mummy walked in. She looked at the pictures. “Wow! They’re really great pictures!” she said. “Say, Daddy, come have a look at these pictures the boys have painted!” This is a lovely picture book with some spectacular illustrations. The well rooted morals of the story are easily linked to everyday scenarios. With the elements of magic, adventure and surprise this makes a lovely book for Foundation stage all the way through to lower Key Stage two. I thoroughly enjoyed this fable, I loved the magic and hope within it- the teasing out that there is a difference between need and greed and that solidarity is owed more to some than to others. The book simply skims over any sort of internal conflicts (eg the consequences of not producing food- although I guess the point to to value also intellectual and artistic "work"; also e.g. any moral conflict- desire to please the emperor or fear by Shen) to have a simple movement where one thing logically follows the other- although she is imprisoned at one point. Digby put his face very close to see if the pictures he’d painted had left any traces, like sometimes happens when you use an eraser to rub out your drawing that you did by mistake. But there was not a trace of the sweets and chocolate he had painted, or of the porridge. There was just one – slightly less hungry looking, and still very sharp, Triceratops.

When he saw it was difficult for people to till lands, he drew a cow and the cow came to life. People could use the cow to till lands very easily.As always happens in such stories, the greedy Emperor learns of Shen's magical powers, courtesy of the paintbrush, and demands that she paint him a golden tree of coins... As we all know, Shen is unable to fulfil this request and she explains how she is unable to fulfil the Emperors wish, as she had made the promise to paint only for the benefit of the poor.

I have some reservations around a write author appropriating a Chinese story (however beautifully) and not even having a "note to the reader" about where the story came from. I wonder if Edward Said would find this an example of his problematic "Orientalism" and I feel a little uncomfortable with it. I am personally slightly over rhyme but nevertheless enjoyed the way the story unfolded and the nearly dragon (I was almost disappointed but Donaldson immediately threw in a party to distract me- in a good way. The story is about a girl called Shen who is given the amazing gift of a magic paintbrush. She is told never to paint for rich people but to use it to help the poor. But the emperor hears about Shen and decides he will use her gift to add to his already enormous wealth. Shen of course refuses and is thrown into jail by him. As her paintings come to life she finds a way to get herself out of jail and get rid of this horrible Emperor once and for all. Because Shen is a beautiful person she decides against it but finds a way for the whole village to live happily ever after.

The Magic Paintbrush Writing Frames - go one step further by having children retell the story in their own words. With the same pictures, they'll write out the tale as they remember it. Alternatively, they can create their own versions, based on the original and the illustrations.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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