Limerick Train, a display created by AmeriCorps Museum Educators Jackie Frole and Kerrie Hoban, was inspired by Miriam Troop’s "The Limerick Book: A Collection for Young People." Jackie gave a peek into their process.
Why did you pick this theme?
At the start, Kerrie and I bounced around a lot of ideas, from nursery rhymes to outer space to stuffed animals. We definitely wanted to create some kind of story and began looking in the Museum's library, where we came across Miriam Troop's collection and illustration of limericks. We both fell in love with her cut paper style and the somewhat odd animal poetry. The Limerick Train evolved from that.
How did you choose the limericks?
We chose limericks from the book that were about animals that kids could recognize, but were still clever and humorous. There were a few funny limericks about amoebas and planaria, which we decided against because of their general obscurity. We also had help creating and editing a few limericks. Our friend and writer Matea Mancia created the warthog, chimp, and crocodile limericks for us to use.
Describe your materials and process for creating the scenes.
After settling on our 15 animal limericks, we began collecting wallpaper sample books (generously donated by Adler's Hardware) to use as our material. We really loved the unlimited textures, colors and depth we could create from flat images by working with wallpaper.
For each scene we made a few different sketches and remained flexible when the time came to actually build each box. One example of this was with the newt limerick. We originally had an idea of a sleeping newt in colorful pajamas dreaming about being an accomplished lute player. However, we really wanted to see what a newt would look like as a mime, so that idea won out in the end.
We also had help building some of the boxes from fellow AmeriCorps member, Rachel Schwartz, who offered her creative skills toward building the sad and sneezy rhinoceros.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~Limerick Train is accompanied by a picture hunt designed by Jackie – see if you can find the worm hiding in each box! – and a challenge to complete this limerick:
Have a final line? Leave us a comment, and look for both of the train displays next time you visit the Museum.Nori the dragon peered over the wall,
Atop the Museum, welcoming all,
“Have fun today, kids!”
And he knew that they did,