Review: Imagine That

Imagine That was a day of seeing and doing, imagining and making! Full of fun from the first moment to the last, the creative event at Gateshead Central Library gave children and their families the chance to explore stories in new ways, while completing Arts Awards.

The event was bustling all day with people ready to get creative. Children were running to stations to have a go at what was on offer! In the library’s Caedmon Hall, Set of Drawers’ illustration workshop easily drew children of all ages to have a go at drawing on large sheets on the floor and walls with prompts such as drawing around their hands to make fish-shapes. By the end of the day, their corner was bright with wonderful underwater creatures! On the other side of the room was a great station for making your own fish puppet out of pegs—several of these fantastic creatures were seen throughout the day, and some even joined in rapping with Maxwell Golden!

Also in Caedmon Hall was Chloe Daykin, author of Fish Boy, who led an innovative workshop making unusual aquarium books, which held weird imaginary creatures inside, all invented by the workshop attendees! People of all ages came to try their hand at making their own, and enjoyed sharing their ideas.

Having so much going on in one room gave the event a great, buzzing atmosphere, though sometimes it was good to bring the room back together, as Maxwell Golden’s incredible free-style rapping did. Between leading his own workshops, he got everyone’s attention with pop-up performances and showed how your imagination can work with anything! Maxwell Golden’s ability to rhyme on the spot about whatever he came across was really impressive. Chloe Daykin’s reading was quieter than Maxwell Golden’s rap, and so some people’s attention drifted back to activities, but she read to a small, attentive audience who gathered around her cross-legged on the floor, cosy story-time style, while others carried on creating.

Two stations offered a more relaxed environment outside Caedmon Hall. One was House of Objects’ workshop, where children were invited to make their own Lost Thing, inspired by the Lost Thing comic book, with a vast and wondrous array of recycled materials at their disposal. Things sometimes strayed off-topic in this workshop, but the children took to it straight away and some marvellous Lost Things were created! In another room was the fantastic Von Turr Salon—an immersive, multi-sensory experience which transported young adventurers to all kinds of places around the world!

With so much to see and do, Imagine That was a day full of excitement, which encouraged attendees to do some amazing imagining of their own! Everyone had the chance to create something to take away to remind them that their imagination is incredible, and that it’s so much fun to use it!