How The Book Colour My Ball Was Created

Colour My Ball By Maria Grujicic

I created a mask and wondered why human beings love to dress up and play. I made a sad face on one side of the mask and a happy side on the other side, showing opposite feelings.

I took care making it and afterwards realized that the sad face was just as beautiful as the happy face. I developed the idea that all emotions are beautiful because it is what makes the person’s character. I felt that having an understanding of why we have certain feelings allow children to have a positive self concept and be more in control of solving problems. This idea makes children feel accepted and accepting of others.

At dance class I noticed the children looking in the mirror and wondered why they were doing this. I wondered what they were thinking.

Perhaps the children were playing with their emotions along with acting out the character of their dreams. They wanted to see what that looked like and it was why they were looking in the mirror. There were lots of balls everywhere and I noticed the pattern of movement. They threw the balls away from them and ran to catch them. The spontaneous choreography that occurred was delightful to watch.

At school I used a small tennis ball and passed it around the group. I asked children to choose a colour of their ball and imagine a character.

One child said, “Colour my ball, colour my ball and makes a wish! Colour my ball blue. Blue is the colour of a wizard.”

The next child wanted to be a princess. At a later lesson I used different coloured play dough. I demonstrated the idea of mixing colours that represented a particular emotion. This was a trial of another concept in the illustrations in the book.

The first page is a mix of white and black. The second page is a mix of red and white. The third page mixes red with another colour. Read the book and see the rest of the colours. The colours mix and the friends come together at the end.

Another interesting aspect of the choreography was how they played in parallel to each other. The dance instructor gave them ideas and comments, and encouraged certain children to pair up.  The children came together at the end to form a circle.

MaskThe children made a mask of their favourite character using the mix of colours to represent their feelings.

They carefully designed the mask because when the feelings get too mixed up it is hard to see them. Feelings don’t stay the same all the time. They mix and turn, and it was a good way to experience this visually and in a hands on way.

All feelings are beautiful, we are beautiful was the main message of the project.

For the mask they chose 2 contrasting feelings to draw, and the colours were feelings that complimented them. Feelings weren’t as straight forward as sad and happy. They were “yellow makes me feel safe because it keeps me away from the dark.” Recently this was a comment one of my year 2 students made after reading the class novel, Komiko And The Dragon.

It was insightful to her personal response of the characters in the book of which she could relate to.

Lena Truper and I met at tribal fusion dance class and began working with Gala Yakovleva, our dance teacher with the children’s classes. What interested me was that Gala had a philosophy of dance where the participants created the dance.

Gala applied the same dances and philosophy with the children’s and adult classes. The characters relate to my personal life of which I wrote a novel that I probably will never publish because of how personal it is. I used the novel as a feeder of my ideas as I recollected events and emotions, and applied them into the present and future.

The wizard is my father. He told me stories and did creative projects with me as a child. Whenever I had a problem, he may not have had a solution but he knew what to say to make me feel better and think about life.

The butterfly is the symbol of my mother. From a caterpillar I saw her life grow into a beautiful butterfly and a nurturer of her children. She is more beautiful as she grows. The ageless, timeless quality of a piece is what makes it unique and everyone, regardless of age can relate to the story.

The princess is the character I always wanted to be but never thought it possible. The prince is the yellow shadow, and that’s another story. I have a story to share about all the characters in the book!

It was a pleasure to work with Lena. Lena is a good listener and observer, and picked up on the connection of the storyline and my personal life. When I saw Lena’s drawings I thought she was the right person to do them because she saw the world in a different way. I wanted Lena to take ownership of the drawings and create them in her own unique style.

Lena played with my first sketches that I showed her and developed the ideas. She connected the pages by an animal that changed. She picked up on details such as the socks. Children can do their own illustrations on the blank pages!

Our friendship grew as we continued to inspire each other and it is why this book has personal value to me.

I created this video to show some aspects of how the book was created. Feel free to post comments and ask any questions. The challenge working with other people is that the ideas may not come across in the exact way you would like, but you tend to accept them because it’s the best it can be at the time.

My next goal is to illustrate my own book and get my ideas across more accurately. I have many other picture book ideas and have been working with video, creating music and dialogue, and photography. I love mixing mediums together and would like to look more into multimodal texts.

ENJOY AND Happy Holidays to Everyone!

NEW! Poems That Dance At Mindil Beach Markets!

My second stall video at Mindil Beach Markets! Click here.

Click on the link above to take you to the video of my stall at Darwin Mindil Beach. It will give you a glimpse of what it was like. I apologise for the quality of the photos below but it was quite dark…not bad though for a video camera pic.

The girl in the picture is my niece. I am very proud of how devoted she was and stuck by me the whole time. She helped set up at 2pm and pack up at the end of the night at 10 pm!

She is the star of my next picture book, the princess. I will let you know more about it soon. We are looking for a prince if anyone knows of someone who might be interested. 

Themelis was also there to help set up and left early, so he isn’t in the photo. He will play the wizard in the new story!

I had a significant visitor at my stall, the best teacher in the world Mr Pownall. He was my teacher in grade 6 and 7. He took this photo of me earlier in the day. 

See you next week at the markets!

Thank you to everyone with their amazing comments and it was great meeting so many people who are into the same things as myself. It added a human interactive dimension to this blogging excercise and it was a pleasant night.

The poetry tags were particularly popular and I now have an idea of what people like. I’ll be making some more poetry tags for next week. I’ll also be changing some things with some new things to sell.

What kind of poems do you enjoy?

Keep On Dancing!

FREE Poems That Dance Sample CD!

I was inspired today to create a sample piece of music with excerpts of the poems, chants and songs on my very first CD Poems That Dance for kids. Any impression are most welcome!

Thanks for listening!



       Poems That Dance For Kids! SONG LIST

  1. Yellow Shadow Shining Through The Window Mix
  2. Mala The Cat
  3. Everything Has A Beginning Middle And End
  4. One Little Caterpillar
  5. Abundant Posters Abundant Dreams
  6. Blowing Kisses
  7. The Number Of Children In The World
  8. The Yo Yo Song
  9. The Secret To Sleeping Early
  10. I See Spring
  11. Blowing Kisses Special Mix
  12. A Hello And A Goodbye
  13. Me And You You And Me
  14. A Smile On My Face Special Excerpt

© June 2012 Written and produces By Maria Grujicic

Free Audio Of The Book Poems That Dance

My Highest Colorful Star  Play

Caterpillar, Caterpillar     Play

Make Some Honey   Play

Mala The Cat    Play

Mischievous, Adoring Cat    Play

Magic E            Play

About the poem Magic E   Play

I Went To Buy Some Fish       Play

I Love You Close           Play

About Love You Close  Play

Percussion Spanish Dance Ole!  Play

Spanish Dancing Ole!   Play

Shining Through The Window Play

I See Spring      Play

Angus       Play

Little Mirror      Play

Little Mirror Game  Play

I See Me Game  Play


Buy the book and get more free downloads of the poems, songs and game ideas! Click here to take you to the page. The password is the title of the last poem in the book without the spaces between words and all lower case letters.


© Maria Grujicic and, from February 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Maria Grujicic and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Inspiring Songs, Inspiring Play!

I was looking through my book Spring And Sing today
and with nothing much to do,
with the weather so sombre and grey,
I decided to play
And produce an audio
Of some of the songs.

Throughout the audio parts I explain how the songs can be used for games, and give you an idea of the tune. My voice isn’t perfect, I must say, but I do love to sing. A love of singing is important, I think, because children will instinctively enjoy the experience when you do. So be free, relax, and enjoy! Keep on dancing!

Poems That Dance

S P R I N G   A N D   S I N G ! 

Introduction  PLAY

I See Spring PLAY

I See Sun Inside PLAY


Smiling Kisses PLAY

Shining Through The Window PLAY

Little Mirror PLAY

Caterpillar Caterpillar PLAY

Mala The Cat PLAY

I Went To Buy Some Fish One Day PLAY

Into The Forest PLAY

Rolling Rolling PLAY

Weather Songs PLAY

Days Of The Week PLAY 

The Weekend Hey! PLAY

How to Adapt The Songs PLAY

I Like To Wear Different Socks PLAY

Sleeping Early PLAY

Good Morning PLAY

Translation of Greetings PLAY

Beautiful Beautiful PLAY

The Number Of Children In The World PLAY

Making Friends Song And Game PLAY

Packing Up Making It Fun PLAY

Into The Pot Drama Play PLAY

I Like To Play PLAY

Sleeping Upside Down On My Bed PLAY

Hundertwasser Perfect For An Art Study PLAY

Spanish Dance Ole! A simple song and dance. PLAY

The Clapping Rhythm of The Guitar PLAY


© Maria Grujicic and, from February 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Maria Grujicic and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.