MARCH breAK! 2012: A Study in Emerald, Day 4, Story & Illustrations

We’re on day four of our five day Illustrate-Your-Own Book project. The kids have been trying different artistic techniques each day to create illustrations for the story I wrote for them, The Adventures of Sir Lóchrann Holmes: A Study in Emerald. Today, after we made our Python Masks, we read chapter six (of seven) out loud to Blaise, who was home for the day. Since I had to leave for an appointment, he took charge of the illustrations. Now, he’s actually an artist, so today’s explorations of MIXED MEDIA proved to be the kids’ best efforts to date!!! Illustrations to follow today’s plot summary, as usual.

Summary: A Study in Emerald, Chapter Six, “Tobias Gallagher Shows What He Can Do”
McUaitson discusses the contents of his scrapbook: news coverage of the crime. The serpent papers, the television news, and the online community were in a frenzy about the “Wolfe Tone Mystery.” First and foremost, they wonder about the presence of a Python in Ireland. Then, they increase the tension by revealing that the murdered Python, Drebber, had a secretary named Strangerson who may yet be on the loose in Dublin. The two pythons stayed at the boarding house of a Mrs. Limerick, near the docklands. Next, Holmes then receives a visit by a whole knot of street snake urchins who inform him that they haven’t yet found the serpent he is looking for. Just as the urchins disperse to go back to their spying, Gallagher arrives, claiming that he has arrested the murderer, young David Limerick, and laughing at his colleague Na’Sraide, who has gone off after Strangerson. Gallagher reports that during his visit to Mrs. Limerick’s boarding house, Mrs. Limerick’s daughter, Cailloan, convinces her mother to “Tell the truth” to him. Mrs. Limerick confesses that the afternoon before the murder, her son David chased Drebber out of the house with a Shillelagh after he found an inebriated Drebber assaulting his mother in the coiling room. The young Limerick’s alibi for the time of the murder is a lie, Gallagher claims. Just as Gallagher is wrapping up the conversation about his prisoner, Na’Sraide enters with news that he has just found the other python, Strangerson, dead in a rooming house near the ferry dock.



Tobes shows David Limerick wielding his Shillelagh.
Oil Pastel, watercolour, and ink transfer.

One of the Barrow Street Snake Urchins
Watercolour (painted over a tape image of a snake),
Oil Pastel (to fill in snake), and paper collage (buildings).

McUaitson’s scrapbook of media coverage of the mystery.
Paper and oil pastel.

Tobes and Papa:

Sargeant Gallagher eats a frog sanwich cookie and explains the mystery.
Dyed Paper, Construction Paper, crayon, watercolour, and oil pastel.


Holmes pays a street urchin for his troubles.
Watercolour, crayon, and oil pastel.

McUaitson reading his scrapbook of case memoribilia.
Watercolour, oil pastel, crayon, and ink.

Warrior Python inflicting damage.

“Snakesung” brand television, tuned to the “Fork-Tongue Channel,” where the anchor reports a murder, with and inset video of the crime scene over at Wolfe Tone Stret.
Collage, crayon, oil pastel, watercolour.

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