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Thursday, 10 July 2008

Fat Gourg on YouTube

Following on from Saturday's newspaper story about Fat Gourg, the 7-year-old's monster who become an internet craze in France, the story hit the local TV yesterday - and the French fans have already put it up on Youtube.

If they had shown the interview they did with me I would have been saying how wonderful it is to have a story that shows the positive side of the Internet.

All writing that is submitted to Kids on the Net is fully moderated and published so safely that it took 5 years, a newspaper, a TV station and thousands of French fans to find Luke.

It's wonderful that they were able to find Luke and interview him! Meanwhile, the current crop of children at his old school, Oakthorpe Primary, have submitted their own monsters who reside on the Monster Motel website in Fat Gourg's Friends annex.

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posted by Helen Whitehead 12:39 PM

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Saturday, 5 July 2008

I never thought I'd be part of an internet cult!

My project Kids on the Net features today in the Leicester Mercury - and it's all down to a monster ("Fat Gourg") created by seven-year-old Luke, during a writing workshop I held in a Leicestershire primary school in March 1999. Starting as one of our many writing ideas for kids the monster has since become something of a cult figure for a group of young French artists and cartoonists. writing ideas for kids

In 2003, the drawing was discovered on the website by famous French online cartoonist Pierre Primen. The 25-year-old raved about Fat Gourg on Primsworld, his website dedicated to funny cartoons and drawings, which gets 50,000 visitors a day, sparking instant adulation. Apparently there's even, on August 8 - the "eight" symbolising his fat body - a Fat Gourg Day!

He has a Friends Reunited profile, where he is listed as single and retired, and a Facebook profileand there is a Facebook group dedicated to finding him.

Now the hunt is on to find Luke. His French fans "would like to know if Luke remembers drawing this monster. If he does, I guess we have to thank him for all the fun Fat Gourg has brought to us, and we have millions of questions to ask him about this character. We also have to offer him a statue to pay tribute to his oeuvre!"

I hope Luke is amused and not embarrassed by all this. But imagine being able to say you launched an internet cult at the age of 7? I find the whole story most heartwarming, and I remember Luke's classmates and school with affection - they had the best school dinners I've ever had!

Fat Gourg can be found in the Monster Motel on the Kids on the Net website. The project is still going and invites children worldwide to contribute their own monsters - a great topic for kids' writing activities. Children's own writing is featured throughout Kids on the Net and there are many different writing activities for kids.

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posted by Helen Whitehead 3:02 PM

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Helen Whitehead's blog of e-learning, digital literacy, online writing, and digital creativity.

Which methods and techniques using new technologies are of real use?

Writing in the digital age is so much more than delivering information, or traditional stories and poems electronically. Digital forms of literature can include text, hyperlinks, multi-linear plots, superlinear narrative, graphics, interactivity, animation... and so much more.




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