Becoming Five Again

Once upon a time there was a special exhibit at the Seoul Art Center Hangaram Museum for those who never grew up … It was a unique place where one can become a child again with no worries in the world.

Today I introduce you to Anthony Browne, British illustrator and writer of children’s picture books. Originally this exhibit was made specifically for children to have fun and be creative when taking pictures; however, I wanted to reminisce back to my childhood and dragged my friend with me. Majority of the people there were married couples with children, as expected but there were a few people who were like us — young adults and older just seeking some fun.

Before entering the special exhibit there was a wall full of drawings from Anthony Browne’s picture books.

My mood at that time: I feel very happy! 

Willy The Dreamer: “Willy dreams, Reader also dreams. Writer also dreams. Willy is a dream.

Before entering the exhibit room, one has to prepare to enter an imaginary world. A world where Willy is real and our friend who will help us accomplish everything and learn about life’s beauty.

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“When I talk to children, I show them a typical drawing I made when I was six and point out to them that when I was their age, I didn’t draw any better than any of them.”

Sight is the most important skill that an artist should have. In order to draw release your imagination and explore your surroundings searching for minute details.

So who is Willy?

Willy is a chimp who undergoes similar problems that all children go through. The picture books that Anthony Browne has made such as “Willy The Wimp,” “Willy and Hugh,”Willy The Dreamer,” etc. all represent children. Every child is afraid of the world and so is Willy but Willy overcomes that and that gives courage to the children. Willy is a big dreamer and children should be able to dream about their future, even if it is unrealistic.

Willy is a friend, a role model, a brother to all children.

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Join Willy on his adventures as he begins to mature and grow.

I learned that all these pictures and creations were featured in Anthony Browne books. The museum took pages and characters out of the book to make this special exhibition.

As you enter a long sleep, you can dream about entering unknown territory. Take a long trip like Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Or fly around the sky like a bird and view the world from above. Dream anything because in a dream everything is possible.

Let’s be friends. Children thrive on friends as that is their source of companionship. With friends one can play, talk, and grow together!

Along, with focusing on Willy, Anthony Browne also focuses on the importance of family and home. The place to feel safe is home under your parent’s hug. Never forget that your parent’s love you and will continue to love you forever.

Want to save the world? You can do it. Just look outside to see what opportunities are in your front step.

So, after learning all this how do you feel?

At the end of the exhibit there was a room called the Reading Library, which offered a space for anyone to read and look through Anthony Browne’s picture books. The books were offered in Korean and English for foreigners and locals. The space was filled with excitement as children gathered around their parents to stare at the marvelous pictures inside the books. It was a successful and exciting two-hour museum trip!

My mood after the exhibit: Right now, I feel a little slee…p…y…

The End. 

“Picture books are for everybody at any age, not books to be left behind as we grow older. The best ones leave a tantalizing gap between the pictures and the words, a gap that is filled by the reader’s imagination, adding so much to the excitement of reading a book.”
– Anthony Browne –

 

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