26 September 2023

The art of keeping kids entertained: Libraries' holiday program is where science plus creativity equals fun

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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During these school holidays, kids can learn to draw cartoon and manga characters with illustrator Matthew Lin. Photo: Supplied.

Local children will be spoilt for choice at Riverina Regional Library’s (RRL) school holiday program, which features art and science in equal measures.

Kids can learn to draw cartoon and manga characters with illustrator Matthew Lin and be entertained by Mr Snot Bottom’s musical comedy show, billed as ”totally gross and high energy”.

RRL also has STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics)-inspired activities, including solar windmills, Lego SPIKE, wobblebots, STEM construction, codebreakers, galaxy string art and space explorers.

Matthew has illustrated and designed more than 60 books for various Australian publishers, including Scholastic, Hachette and HarperCollins, and multiple promotional toys for McDonald’s, Nestle and Disney.

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The illustrator enjoys seeing children make progress during a single workshop.

“Often, I can see the improvement from their first drawing to their last,” Matthew said.

“What excites me is seeing their personality and creativity coming out in the way they add their details.

“I just provide the framework on which they expand.”

man with illustrations

Matthew Lin has illustrated more than 60 books and designed promotional toys for companies including McDonald’s, Nestle and Disney. Photo: Supplied.

Matthew, who started providing drawing workshops in 2007 at the Art Gallery of NSW, finds teaching children is a privilege.

“It’s exciting for me because a lot of what I know was self-taught, and I had to work it out by trial and error,” he said.

“I think it’s important to make it easier for them and help them with just a few steps.”

RRL marketing and engagement officer Katrina Roe said the spring school holiday program offered something for everyone.

“The libraries are known for having great arts and crafts activities, but this time around, we’ve got a concert, drawing workshops and science activities,” Katrina said.

poster for children's entertainer

Mr Snot Bottom is promising ”totally gross” fun for kids at his high-energy concerts at regional libraries. Photo: Supplied.

“We want the parents to know when they’re thinking about what they can do with the kids instead of screen times, to get out there and enjoy everything the community offers.”

Katrina said engaging children in school holiday programs helped parents by giving their youngsters something to do that was affordable and fun, and because it was local, families didn’t have to travel far.

“It’s also about getting children into the library … the amount of time they spend reading can drop in the holidays,” she said.

“Kids can get excited about reading … the last book in the Treehouse series is out these holidays.”

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Matthew Lin Illustration Workshops
Gundagai Library – Wednesday, 27 September ($10)
Cootamundra Library – Wednesday, 27 September, 1:30 pm ($10)
Bland Library – Thursday, 28 September, 10:30 am for 7-12 years; 12:30 pm secondary students (free).

Mr Snot Bottom Musical Comedy Show
Holbrook Library – Tuesday, 3 October, 10:30 am (free)
Jindera Library – Tuesday, 3 October, 2:30 pm (free)
Culcairn Library – Wednesday, 4 October, 10:30 am (free)
Henty Library – Wednesday, 4 October, 2 pm (free)
Bland Library – Thursday, 5 October, 10 am ($5)
Coolamon Library – Thursday, 5 October, 2:30 pm ($5)
Gundagai Library – Friday, 6 October, 10:30 am ($5)
Junee Library – Friday, 6 October, 2:30 pm (free)
Cootamundra Library – Saturday, 7 October, 10:30 am ($5).

For more information about Matthew Lin’s drawing workshops, Mr Snot Bottom’s concert and STEM-based activities and bookings, visit the events page of the Riverina Regional Library website or contact your local branch.

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