Trafalgar had the pleasure of welcoming author/illustrator Michael Gayle to the Castle to speak with some of our students. A graduate from University of Toronto, Scarborough (U of T), Gayle wrote and illustrated his first picture book in 2016 at age 19. Now 26, Gayle is promoting is third book, Krumpp’s First Taste.
The collaborative classroom was bursting with excitement as Gayle shared the book with students in Grades 4 to 6. Gayle asked the classes what they thought the book was about. Answered ranged from “always be kind” and “when in doubt eat a crumpet” to “never judge a book by its cover”. It was a very interactive reading with students helping to display pages, personal experiences with grumps and impersonations of the characters in the story itself.
After the reading Gayle surprised students as they each received a copy of Krumpp’s First Taste. Cheers could be heard throughout the Castle!
The Grade 11 and 12 Visual Arts students also had the opportunity to hear from Gayle and learn about the process and work involved in being an author/illustrator.
Gayle taught himself the basics of digital illustration through online research and took English courses at U of T. He shared with the Grade 11 and 12 students that even six years after his first book he is still learning. “Cross pollinate skills between different genres of art,” Gayle suggests.
He also urged students to challenge themselves and to embrace difficulty “Keep doing the things that you’re doing, even if it’s hard.”
Gayle spoke to the students about their artistic interests which ranged from architecture and graphic novels to screenplays and illustrations. It was a collaborative conversation that left students inspired to explore art in all forms.
As we continue to celebrate Black History Month by showcasing current Black Canadians who are having an impact today, we were thrilled to include Michael Gayle in our list of Black Canadians.
To learn more about Gayle and his work visit his website