Pansy Boy is a picture book written and illustrated by artist Paul Harfleet. Rhyming couplets tell the story of a boy who revels in the joys of summer, exploring the flora and fauna around him. Reluctantly he returns to school where he is subjected to incessant bullying. Intelligent and bright, he is driven to create a plan to reclaim his school. Pansy Boy is a creative extension of Paul Harfleet’s ongoing artwork, The Pansy Project. The artist has been planting pansies at the site of homophobia since 2005 and it is this revelation that ends Pansy Boy, bringing the concept into the real world.
The author wrote Pansy Boy for his seven year old self. Designed to offer children of all ages an alternative version of childhood that transcends stereotype. Equally the book is an educational device that celebrates art, ornithology, horticulture and is a tool to help discuss playground bullying and burgeoning sexual identity. Published by Barbican Press, available on Amazon and in some good bookstores from summer 2017, Pansy Boy was shortlisted for the Polari Book Prize in 2018. Paul continues to share the book with schools, libraries and museums around the world.
PANSY BOY WORKSHOPS AND RESOURCES
Paul Harfleet has visited schools across the U.K. America and Canada where he has hosted various workshops that explore the issues surrounding Pansy Boy in a playful and engaging way, including:
A brief introduction to The Pansy Project
A reading of Pansy Boy
Drawing workshops that visualise bird calls
Portrait workshops that expand the nature of drawing
Followed by questions and conversation
The intention of Pansy Boy and the workshops is to gently introduce the notion of bullying and prejudice through the storyline of the book. Drawing workshops playfully explore the nature of drawing and create a safe space for conversation on the issues the book explores. The level of detail depends on the age group of the class, the time allowed and the preparation of the school and teachers involved in advance and post the artist’s visit.
To enquire on availability and fees contact the artist here.