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Children’s workshop: telling a story artfully with Calila and Dimna

From January 26, 2017 until February 17, 2017

A workshop gathering for children from 7 to 11 years old, based on the illustrated album “El maravilloso libro de Calila y Dimna” (“The Wonderful Book of Calila and Dimna”), given by illustrator Rocío Martínez.

Books are like boxes in which we store away the things we know, what we think and what we feel, to share it with other people who are sometimes very far away in time and place. Sometimes, like in The Wonderful Book of Calila and Dimna, which King Alphonse X The Wise ordered to have translated from the Arabic into Spanish, these boxes carry others inside, which in turn, hide even more stories within. They are like what we refer to as “Chinese boxes.” 

The illustrator, Rocío Martínez, will be explaining these narrative games using a set of boxes in which the characters from the story will appear one by one. Rocío will also be talking about how she made the book, by showing sketches and visual information she gathered in her workbook. She will talk about why and where she used Mozarabic art in her illustrations and how the human figure is represented, as well as her use of Arabesques to frame spaces, as occurs in architecture. To finish the workshop, the children will make a small book like “Calila and Dimna” with stories inside of others, using envelopes and blank sheets of paper that they will be able to decorate with ornamental strips and Arabesques, as well as coloring some of the illustrations and making new ones of their own. 

About the illustrator: 

Rocío Martínez is a well-known illustrator and author of children’s stories. Since 1990, she has dedicated her work to illustrating children’s and youths’ books with different companies from the industry from both Spain and abroad (Japan, France, England, Venezuela and Mexico). As of 1999, she has also had some of her illustrated books published as the author. Some have been translated into Korean, English and both European and Brazilian Portuguese. She has received several awards, including the following: Runner-up for the Lazarillo Illustration Award of 1999, for “Miguel y las palampalatas”; runner-up for the Lazarillo Illustration Award of 2001 for “La gallina Catalina” (“Catalina the Hen”); the “A la orilla del viento” award of 2006, given by the publishing firm Fondo de Cultura Económica (Mexico) for “De cómo nació la Memoria del Bosque” (“How the Forest’s Memory Was Born”); the Prize given in the Fifth International Illustrated Album Competition by the Library of the Island Government of Gran Canaria, Editorial EDELVIVES 2010, with the text and illustration of “El de-sastre perfecto” (“The Perfect Tailor/Disaster”), and “Los tres imprescindibles de la Biblioteca” (“The Three Essentials from the Library”) of The Best of 2010, Banco del Libro de Venezuela, with “La historia Rainbow Warrior” (“The Rainbow Warrior Story”). She was selected on two different occasions by Mexico’s Public Education Secretariat and once for the White Ravens catalogue by the International Youth Library (IYL), Germany. She has taken part in domestic and foreign exhibitions and was selected in both 1997 and 2001 to hold exhibits at the Children’s Book Fair in Bologna, Italy. She has a degree in Fine Arts (San Fernando, Madrid) with a specialization in engravings/etchings.

Selection of books written and illustrated:
  • Gato Guille y los monstruos (Guille the Cat and the Monsters). (2000). Text and illustrations. Kalandraka publishers, Pontevedra.
  • The MATÍAS series, Text and illustrations. The “Jardín de los niños” (“Children’s Garden”) collection. Ediciones Ekaré, Venezuela.
        Matías y el color del cielo (Matías and the Color of the Sky, 2001).
        Matías pintor famoso (Matías, Famous Painter, 2001).
        Matías dibuja el sol (Matías Draws Under the Sun, 2001).
        Matías ha perdido su lápiz (Matías Lost His Pencil, 2004)
        Matías retrata a Penélope (Matías Paints a Portrait of Penélope, 2006).
  • De cómo nació la Memoria de El Bosque. (On How Memory Was Born from the Woods, 2008). Text and illustrations. Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico.
  • La historia del Rainbow Warrior (History of the Rainbow Warrior, 2008). Text and illustrations. Kalandraka publishers / Greenpeace, Pontevedra
  • El de-sastre perfecto (The Perfect Tailor/Disaster, 2010). Editorial Luis Vives (EDELVIVES). Text and illustrations. 
  • Rocío Martínez, Del maravilloso libro de Calila y Dimna (The Wonderful Book of Calila and Dimna, Thule, 2015)  
  • Rocío Martínez, Del maravilloso libro de Calila y Dimna (The Wonderful Book of Calila and Dimna, summary at Canal del Lector) 

Groups of 15 to 20 children between the ages of 7 and 11. Workshop duration: from 40-50 minutes (approximately). 
December 23, 2016 and January 21, 2017, at noon.  You must register in advance and make payment with online registration (4 euros). If any spaces are left, they will be sold at the entrance on the day of the workshop itself (5 euros). 
Children’s workshop: telling a story artfully with Calila and Dimna