Photos and story by BECKY BARCLAY

Children did watercolor paintings of a princess sleeping on 20 mattresses. They made crowns so they could be princes and princesses. They also painted beanstalks, complete with beans on them.

It was all part of the Arts Council of Wayne County’s Link to Literature summer art camp.

Instructor Donna Andrews Amos made fairytales come to life during the camp.

One day she read “The Princess and the Pea” to campers, a fairytale about a princess who sleeps (or cannot sleep) on 20 mattresses with a pea at the very bottom.

“We read the story, then we talked about design,” Amos said. “The children drew the frame of the bed and the mattresses, then outlined their pencil drawing in black crayon. Then they did watercolor and added glitter. They finished up by making prince and princess crowns, so everybody was a prince and princess.”

Another day, the children read “Jack and the Beanstalk.”

“We concentrated on spiral lines,” Amos said. “They painted beanstalks and cut out and made a collage with paper. They glued lima beans on it and made Jack at the top of the beanstalk.”

The last day of the camp, the girls made Cinderella’s coach and the boys made the Mad Hatter’s hat.

“I’m trying to teach a little bit of the art elements and the principles of art with design,” Amos said.

She said she was teaching through fairytales because the children can relate to the fairytales.

“I gave the background about how fairytales started a long time ago because we didn’t have newspapers or the Internet,” Amos said. “People would sit around and tell stories. From country to country and village to village, the stories changed. So we might have three different versions of Cinderella.”

Amos said she tried to link what the children learn at school with their literature into their art.

She said learning about and doing art brings the children out of themselves and lets them use their own creativity.

“The children said, ‘Oh, mine doesn’t look like hers,’ ” Amos said. “That’s their own thing. They make. Their own creations.

“And they make connections through art because think about the books we red, magazines we look at, TV shows, everything. Art is everywhere, even in the clothes they wear.”

Amos said arts also helps the children expand their minds.

Camper James Spicer, 6 ½, said he learned a lot about art in the camp.

He said he wanted to go to the art camp because “I really like painting and I like to do art.”

Hayden Jarrett, 8, also likes to do art. He said he’s going to take his projects home and give them to his mom.

Madeline Newberry said art inspires her.

“I’ve learned a lot about fairytales and about art at camp,” the 8-year-old said. “I learned that art is very inspiring and it helps you learn.

“The camp is very good, and I love it. It’s fun learning.”