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December 2018

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Special Topic

Embrace the New Generation through Picture Books - 2018 International Conference on Picture Book Creation and Application to National Park Environmenta

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Picture-story show on firefly ecology
Picture-story show on firefly ecology

Inspiring love for the environment with picture-story show

The low-pitched, pleasant and expressive voice of Izumi Haraga immediately captured the attention of everyone. Originally a paper play, the picture-story show adopted by the Kitakyushu Guide Research Association to disseminate environmental education on tidal flats, Kitakyushu rural ecology and Kyushu's Hirodai National Park resulted in a surge of speeches as each application was paired with an exciting paper play performance. According to Haraga, each picture-story show involves members of the Research Association, who brainstormed, planned and personally completed all the props for the theater. The content of the plan alone may take a year to develop, and the props for the paper play theater are not limited to interactive picture books but also include finding performance media suitable for the different themes. The most impressive theme is Our Tideland show. The use of picture-story to describe the relationship between tideland ecology and humans not only reminded the audience of the damage caused by inappropriate behavior, but also encouraged children to think about actions that should be taken to protect lagoon ecology.

The interactive games included the use of many exquisitely crafted and lifelike hand-stitched puppets. The Research Association regard these carefully made puppets as three-dimensional biological models that clearly illustrate the characteristics of the creatures. The participatory show on tideland birds was a performance not to be missed. Dressed in bird costumes, the audience learned about the relationship between beak shapes and food through movements and carefully constructed props. The moment when they moved their heads to try to peck the food (prey), they were destined to never forget the relevance of food chain. Haraga also reminded the creators to think about who the audience are and the scale of the performance in order to create the most appropriate educational media for the national park and other environments. Nevertheless, most important of all is the hope that through actual environmental experience, those who watched the picture-story show can experience a deeper connection and realization, and be profoundly touched so that their impression and inspiration from the show can continue to take effect.

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