The feature image was drawn by the talented Ross Collins and is related to the book Knitbone Pepper Ghost Dog and the Last Circus Tiger

Here is a printable version of the activity if your screen is too small to see it fully.

Start from the top and use all your skills to find your way out of the maze!

We’ve done lots of events with the poets from Falling Out of the Sky. Sometimes they read their own poems from the book, and sometimes they read other people’s.

In this video, John Canfield (who wrote ‘The Legend of Jan Tregeagle’), is performing ‘The Minotaur’ by Rachael Nicholas. I’m in the background, holding my watercolour painting of the Minotaur, which is based on my illustration in the book. And that’s Kate Wakeling on the left – she wrote ‘The Serpent and the Turtle’.

I’ve always felt sorry for the Minotaur, alone in that big maze just waiting for someone to come and slay him, so I drew him looking a bit sad, though I did also want him to look scary.

No-one really knows what the Minotaur is meant to look like, other than being half man and half bull. After watching the video and listening to the poem, why don’t you have a go at drawing the Minotaur?

You could try to capture what made him so terrifying that King Minos trapped him in the Labyrinth.

Or you could try to show what it might have felt to be the Minotaur – was he lonely? Did he get lost inside the maze too? Was he hungry all the time?

You could also draw Theseus. Would he look frightened inside the Labyrinth, peering around each corner, or would he stride around confidently?

You could also draw Ariadne, who gave Theseus the sword and ball of string. What would she be feeling as she waited for Theseus to emerge?

There are two poems about the Norse gods in our poetry anthology Falling Out of the Sky – one about how Loki destroyed the universe, and one which introduces you to five of the Norse gods. I already had an idea about how they might look, because I used to read lots of Norse myths when I was younger, so it was great fun trying to capture my ideas in my illustration.

 

You can download my illustration of Norse gods below, so you can print the image out and colour the gods in.

 

Or, you can read the poem from the book and draw your own illustrations of the Norse gods. Rachel Piercey’s poem contains lots of clues about what the gods might look like.

 

To Asgard!

Come across the rainbow bridge

to Asgard, where the Norse gods live!

 

Odin is the ruler here,

he strokes his beard, he shakes his spear,

he keeps a pair of wolves as pets

and flies a horse who has eight legs.

 

Come across the rainbow bridge

to Asgard, where the Norse gods live!

 

Frigg is queen, and she can see

what every person’s fate will be,

and whether it will turn out well

or badly, though she’ll never tell.

 

Come across the rainbow bridge

to Asgard, where the Norse gods live!

 

The strongest of them all is Thor

whose hammer causes thunderstorms.

He crushes mountains, likes to flirt,

has two goats pull his cart to work.

 

Come across the rainbow bridge

to Asgard, where the Norse gods live!

 

Freya’s husband roams the worlds,

so she cries tears of solid gold.

In feathered cloak, boar at her side,

she goes to seek him far and wide.

 

Come across the rainbow bridge

to Asgard, where the Norse gods live!

 

Loki is the trickster god:

he causes trouble, then he’s off,

and even Odin cannot make

this wily, wicked god behave.

 

Come across the rainbow bridge

to Asgard, where the Norse gods live!

 

Their world is full of beasts and swords,

serpents, giants, magic wars.

They feast and fight and feast again

but even Asgard has to end…

 

So while there’s still a rainbow bridge:

to Asgard! where the Norse gods live…