- - "Amy [Amanda] my lazy sister is thirteen years old. She talks on the phone for an hour or two at a time. She has her own room and it is a mess. She always keeps it messy. When she goes places with her friends she always dresses nice and leaves her clothes on the floor."
- - "When Calvin was about to climb up the swing, he saw something. A turkey! Then he showed the turkey how to do flips. They were both wearing clown ties."
- - "Then he went home. Then he played soccer. Then he went home. Then he ate corn on the cob. Then he played soccer again"
Excerpts from my three favorite books - My Lazy Sister by my sister written many years ago when she was 8; a collection called Stories By Calvin, written by Calvin two years ago; and Mr. Soccerball, written by Ezra just this summer (the sequel for that one is in progress at the moment-I can't wait). These books are so very dear to me - I read them over and over and over and smile, and I will most assuredly treasure them forever. These were the first, but there are piles of these books now - in various stages of completion - among our things.
I keep a supply of these simple little handmade books accessible and at the ready for when the kids' book-writing inspiration strikes. The construction - on my end - is basic - heavy card stock folded in half, with 10-20 pages or lightweight paper on the inside pages, all stapled together on the fold. I started making them this way after receiving some similarly made and loved books from the Grecos. They're quick and easy, and yet, an absolute favorite thing for the kids to work on.
Our bookmaking has been fueled in recent weeks by the arrival of two wonderful bookmaking books.The first - How to Make Books: Fold, Cut and Stitch Your Way to a One-of-a-Kind Book is a guide to basic bookmaking, containing step-by-step instructions on a variety of methods. It's got me itching to take the needle and thread to some paper. Calvin's often asked about the construction of books, and this has given me lots of answers on the different ways it can be done. Though I think it's really geared towards an adult reader, the kids have been really interested in what's inside it too - I see some fun collaborations happening.
The second book that's being
fought over explored daily around here is The Book Book, by Sophie Benini Pietromarchi. This book is really hard to explain - it's such eye candy and poetry and instruction and inspiration all rolled into one. It's written for children and covers not only the how of bookmaking, but the what to include in your book - characters, themes, ideas for inspiration. Really really good stuff, and put together so creatively. It's got everyone around here thinking differently about our bookmaking - and including things like fabrics, found objects, and food (!). The Book Book is published by Tara Publishing - a small and amazing (I'm in love with nearly their whole catalog now) independent publisher out of India. In addition to Amazon, it's also available on the their website here (where there's free worldwide shipping and screen printed gift wrap - ah! - before the holidays), and of course - also available by request from your local independent bookstore.
Ah...new fresh inspiration for the little and big writers / illustrators / poets / bookmakers in the house. We're going to have fun with these...