A Fairy Friend: storybook illustrated by a Disney animation legend
Claire Keene is a legendary Disney animation artist whose work has appeared in Frozen and Tangled; she provides such lively illustrations for children's author Sue Fliess's poem A Fairy Friend that readers are transported to an enchanted world where play and imagination can take you out of this world.
At first blush, Fliess's poem feels like it's covering familiar ground: fairies fly and skip through flowers and zip through trees and hum and buzz among the bees. But the poem quickly shifts focus, to a young girl, reading a fairy book, who meets and courts the fairies. She builds them a beautiful little house, which they come to inhabit, and as she and the fairies grow closer, she finds a new best friend among them, one who "will teach you how to fly/sail with you through forest sky."
The girl and the fairy part ways, but are finally reunited, for "time may pass while she's away/but do not let your heart dismay/for if you're thoughtful, kind and true/your fairy will return to you!"
It's a very loving and gentle story told in verse, but when the pictures are added to it, it is transformed into an epic tale of endless warm afternoons, timeless imagination games, the intensity of friendship and the abandon of childhood.
Keane's character designs are -- unsurprisingly -- so animated that the book might work just as well without words, and it's sure to delight pre-literate kids who will lose themselves in the photos of making, playing, and chattering away with your best pals.
The package is as lovely as the pictures, too, with embossed, foil Art Deco fairies in the dust-jacket and a raised plasticized cover-painting. It's a beautiful book to hold, and it just gets better from there.
A Fairy Friend [Sue Fliess and Claire Keane/Henry Holt]
The true nature of creativity: pilfering and recombining the work of your forebears (who, in turn, pilfered and recombined)
Alex from Copy Me (previously) writes, "Copying is one of the most essential steps to creativity. And if we don’t understand how it works, copyright can easily become detrimental to the very creativity we want to protect. Copy-Me's got a new video about how even the great geniuses copied others and how this practice goes […]
Librecorps: an organization that connects student free/open source software developers with humanitarian NGOs
Librecorps is a program based at the Rochester Institute for Technology's Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) initiative that works with UNICEF to connect students with NGOs for paid co-op placements where they build and maintain FOSS tools used by nonprofits.
A teenager describes his hilarious adventures installing a surplus, 1,500lb mainframe in his parents' basement
Connor Krukosky's lifelong hobby was collecting and refurbishing superannuated computing equipment, which is surprisingly cheap provided you have a lot of space -- Krukosky scored things like keypunch machines for a mere $7 (though he had to drive 1,000 miles roundtrip to get it home).
Got a real music junkie on your list this year? It’s a good bet that they already have a solid pair of earbuds, but probably nothing quite like these Seeds Earphones. Here’s the thing: Wireless earbuds are all the rage right now, and there are a lot of good reasons for that. But for true […]
When it comes to the qualities of a good project manager, you hear a lot of talk about “soft skills” like leadership ability and confidence. And where does confidence come from? It comes from people who are dead certain they know the right steps to take. In other words, you’ve got to master the hard […]
You might know someone who can make a pipe out of any conceivable household object. But if they’re doing it every time they smoke, it might be time to get them a little Christmas present. And we’ve got just the thing: The Twisty™️ Glass Original Combo Pack, priced way, way down for December. If you’ve […]