The Beautiful Art of Instruction

The Art of Instruction (Chronicle Books)  is quite an odd, beautiful and oddly beautiful book.   I first read about it in a magazine while sitting in a doctor's waiting room and was possessed by a wild desire to own it, based mainly just on the beautiful cover.  The book is a collection of vintage educational posters and is the work of  Katrien Van der Schueren, owner of voila! Gallery in Los Angeles.

You can read more about it at Design Sponge, but here's a little peek in case the cover wasn't tempting enough for you.

I see from the Raincoast site that there are also notebooks and postcards available for order!


Pixar Advice Illustrated with Lego

I love this: Pixar's Story Rules Legofied (via Mashable).

Twelve of these rules illustrated with Lego were produced by Alex Eylar, aka ICanLegoThat and are viewable on Slackatory.  

Also, we watched The LEGO Story the other night and it was unexpectedly sad.   It recounts the eighty year history of the toy through the life of its creator,  Ole Kirk Christiansen.  It wasn't an easy life by any stretch of the imagination and at one point early on his wife says to him that at least things can't get any worse.  And then she dies.
One interesting bit of trivia we picked up was that the product's name comes from the Danish phrase leg godt ("play well").


"Adorable" is a word to be used advisedly...

Kind words from Publishers Weekly: 

In earlier offerings by this team, When You Were Small and Where You Came From, Henry's parents told their son about life when he was "literally" small, walking his pet ant and sleeping in his father's slipper (this duo has Marcel the Shell beat by several years).

"Tell me about when you were small, too," Henry now asks his mother. "When I was small," she begins, "my name was Dorothea. But because the name was too big for me, everyone called me Dot." Twentysome solemn primary-school students appear opposite in a class photo; one is a girl in a red dress no bigger than a potted plant. Readers might miss the tiny figure, but they'll catch on within pages: "I went swimming in the birdbath," Henry's mother continues. "I played jump rope with a piece of yarn." 

The humor in Morstad's pen-and-ink drawings lies in their seriousness; she draws the cocktail umbrella Henry's mother stands under and the mitten she sleeps in with the care of a botanical illustrator. "Adorable" is a word to be used advisedly, but it's applicable in this case. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)


Stan Lee Cameo

Young son really wants to go Fan Expo Canada.  I think it has to do with the opportunity to meet Stan Lee (even though they have already met in comic form).   
                                                                                         from The Revengers by Euan O'Leary


Wonderlands: A Festival of International Writing for Children

It makes me inordinately happy to find that my latest book When I Was Small is available in the British Library.  

I've even found the form whereby you can request that it be delivered to the British Library Reading Room.  I'm thinking this might be worth the airfare.

I was looking at the British Library site for info about Wonderlands: A Festival of International Writing for Children (August 24-26, 2012) which does look properly wonderful even before you catch site of the storytelling tent.  Writers appearing include Shaun Tan, Julia Donaldson, Emily Gravett, Anthony Brown and David Almond.  Line-up and full details here.

* Kirkus review of When I Was Small here.


Make Books

From Alice Kuipers at Today's Parent, making books with your toddler.   Giving me a slight case of toddler envy.

When my son was small I printed out a selection of nursery rhymes and he illustrated them for me.  My favourite was the one with Old Mother Hubbard dialling 911 because the poor dog was dead.