The Buttonhole Press not only create beautiful books for children with powerful themes, but also provide a creative space too. The fusion of story and craft encourages childrens’ creativity and provides further scope for their own ideas. Each workshop is based on one of the beautifully designed and illustrated button books and begins with an introduction to the topic it covers.
Ran by originator and illustrator, Helen Hamill and author Christina Ryan, each workshop is centred around one book from the collection. My children attended one at Garson’s Farm this summer that was about the story of Blossom & Bud, The Gardener’s Buttons. From the perspective of these two characters, aliteration-loving Blossom and Bud learn the importance of respecting and treasuring nature in a world where the countryside is disappearing.
The children really enjoyed making the felt and button sunflowers and then re-reading the book at home. As an eco-conscious and nature-loving mother, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story to them and we can’t wait for the rest of the collection.
Originator Helen Hamill explains how to idea for workshops began:
“Our button workshops developed from a chance conversation with a friend who was the librarian at a local school. She loved our books and was really enthusiastic about their potential to complement the KS1 curriculum. This inspired me to create themed school visits based on each button with a related craft that would bring the narrative to life! Since then we have a visited lots of local schools with our workshops.”
Workshops are KS1 curriculum based, but can be adapted for children up to year 6. The 45 minute workshops are ideal for schools and libraries, brownies/rainbows/cubs and private functions. They encourage children to touch and feel the actual buttons from the stories and also the watercolour paintbox used in the illustrations – really bringing the process to life! With older children, we discuss the journey of these images onto the printed page.
The Button Hole Press charge £50 for a school year group visit and aim to supply all materials with the exception of things such as glue sticks. They also provide downloadable colouring sheets to complete later.
In libraries, brownies/rainbows/cubs and private functions, the cost is £5 per child. Each child receives a copy of the relevant button book, a bookmark, craft and colouring/puzzle sheet!
Their next project is a beach button story – again with a focus on the environment 🙂
All workshops are available in kit form at £5 plus £3 post and packing.
The Button Collection book box set of 6 is £10 and for readers of RT, postage and packing is included in this price. Email address for orders is below. Happy reading!