Gah. Dinner parties. Horrible.
What’s worse… that inevitable question: “So what do you do for a living?” I can’t bear it. Generally, I say I’m a writer and the next question is always, ALWAYS, “oh so what does your husband do?” I earn a pretty good crust off my words thank you very much. But it must be so much worse to be my husband and have to answer: “I’m an accountant.” He’s now taken to saying he adds up and takes away for a living. Well it makes me laugh. Now imagine if the answer to that dull as dishwater question was… “Oh, I’m a paper engineer.” That’s genuinely… awesome.
I never really considered how time-intensive the creative process is in creating books that you can fold, pull, pop, lift and turn. But today’s paper engineering creations are nothing short of masterpieces; often using many hundreds of intricately glued pieces. As it turns out these movable books go right back to the 13th Century when they were created for adults – often as an instructional way to “show” tricky subjects such as anatomy and astronomy. The ones my kids have today literally open to fanfare – jumping off the page to the tooting of horns. With so much thought and production going into these books, it seems a shame to dismiss them as “novelty”, as they often play a very useful role in helping kids to learn the basics in fun and inspiring ways.
Ben (2) very happily got his hands on two new lift-the-flap books from Walker Studio: Big Dog, Little Dog and Surprising Birds by Elo (Elodie Jarret). They’re vibrant, modern and engaging ways to teach about opposites and colours. Big Dog, Little Dog (opposites) dishes up all manner of fat versus thin or straight versus curly dogs in funny ways. And Surprising Birds (colours) is its perfect pair, stylishly revealing just the flash of a red wing or the sneaky peek of an orange beak.