Chris Van Allsburg’s True Story

His first non-fiction work, Queen of the Falls (2011) is also one of Chris Van Allsburg’s best.  Indeed, in some ways it marks a return to form.  After writing and illustrating a picture book each year for about 15 years, Van Allsburg stopped producing picture books for a while.  Following Bad Day at Riverbend (1995),

Friday. Camp?

In naïve, or pure, Camp, the essential element is seriousness, a seriousness that fails. Of course, not all seriousness that fails can be redeemed as Camp. Only that which has the proper mixture of the exaggerated, the fantastic, the passionate, and the naïve. – Susan Sontag, “Notes on Camp” (1964) – Rebecca Black, “Friday” (2011)

Happy π Day from Crockett Johnson

This isn’t the only kind of “pie” that Crockett Johnson was interested in.  In addition to “all nine kinds of pie that Harold likes best,” Johnson also drew inspiration from Ï€ (3.14159265…) – the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. In early 1968, he began the project of “squaring the circle,” constructing a square

It Looks Like Snow

As winter continues its assault, let’s turn to a classic book about winter: It Looks Like Snow (Greenwillow, 1957), Remy Charlip‘s picture-book tribute to John Cage.  Like Cage’s 4’33” (1952), Charlip’s piece makes the audience’s experience the subject of its experiment.  The primary difference of course is the specific sense through which we apprehend the art

Animated Books

Just discovered this short film by Sean Ohlenkamp and Lisa Blonder Ohlenkamp: “Organizing the Bookcase.”  Charming, brief, with a delightful sense of humor, and… lots of books!  (Make sure you stay for the credits!) Hat tip to Bookshelf Porn, which I found via Betsy Bird’s Fuse #8. Update, 5 Sept. 2011: YouTube video had moved