Natalie Jubb comes out to many of my events in Toronto with her charming kids, and while I knew she was an artist (mostly lovely mosaics), I hadn't had a chance to get a good look at her work until today, when she tweeted a link to "The Story of a Piece of Paper," a board-book she wrote and drew with the help of her daughter Katya. Natalie and Katya have released their book as a CC-licensed PDF (it's a picture book, so they needed to control the layouts pretty closely). It's a fabulous read, and has my favorite kids' book origin story: the bedtime-story-become-a-book.
The Story of A Piece of Paper was commissioned by my older daughter Katya one bedtime when she was four. “Can you tell me a new story?” she said. “Make one up yourself. What about? Oh, just a piece of paper.”
So I made up this story with the girls’ help, and they were quite pleased with it. So pleased that they kept requesting that same story again and again. I personally didn’t think the story was all that great. But clearly I have a poor grasp on what literature appeals to children.
For the girls’ birthdays this year, I decided to illustrate their story and make it into a book. I thought that it would make a memorable birthday present and also that seeing characters from their imagination on a pages of a real book will encourage my kids to keep inventing stories and creating things.
The Story of a Piece of Paper
How To Cake It’s “Deep Red Velvet Brain Cake with Fondant Brain Tissue and Raspberry Jam Blood” is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, only it has to be seen to be believed.
That baby in the snugli is no baby: it’s a hollow baby doll fitted with a booze-filled rehydration bladder with an access-straw in the forehead, beneath its wooly cap.
This/next week, I’m speaking in events in Park City, Utah (Future in Review); Boston (The Freedom to Innovate Summit, the Berkman Center and Suffolk University); Toronto (Seneca College); Markham (In Conversation and Storytellers); and the University of Waterloo! Come say hi! (Image: Terri Oda, CC-BY)
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