There are a few great options out there for children’s furniture, within a sea of overly cutesy yuckiness. MoMA’s new exhibition, “Century of the Child”, displays some of the best, but if you are looking for a more intimate view of tasty mini furniture, check out Mondo Cane’s collaboration with Partners and Spade, “Kids Chairs!” The show features over 50 examples of the form from the years 1890-1990 and will be on view at Partners and Spade May 17th-June 10th. The big opening is tonight, May 17th, from 6-9 p.m. so stop on by!
Coloring. It’s just good. We start to do it as babies, learn to do it well as children, are often forced to do it as adolescents, and many of us just stop doing it as we grow older. But these unique coloring opportunities are good enough to bring even the least creative of us back to the Crayolas.
There is an entire genre of activity books, and then there are Aye Jay’s activity books. Filled with connect the dots, coloring pages, and word searches, these titles will provide you with a musical education and hours of entertainment at the same time. With pages that prompt you to “draw yourself as a member of devo,” color in a portrait of Easy-E, and “connect the moles to find out who this member of Motorhead is,” these books are simply incredible.
I’m not sure if they are necessary perfect for a young child, but I do think that anyone over the age of 13 with any sort of an interest in alternative culture or music will appreciate these incredible creations!
As a both a child and a teenager I was absolutely obsessed with doodling, patterns, and coloring, and now that I am an adult not too much has changed. I am not the type to doodle with abandon either. Instead, when I start, I really go for it and become totally and completely focused on making the most intricate drawing you could possibly imagine. I really absolutely love to do it, and I would become a professional doodler in a second if that was an option! Alas …the other day at the Strand I came across The Patterns Coloring Book from Usborne Books. If I were a child still this coloring book would be my obsession, because as an adult I was still totally intrigued. It is filled with all sorts of crazy, beautiful patterns in black and white that you can complete and color any way you like. It even has tips for color combinations!
And when I took a look at Usborne’s website, it turns out they have all sorts of fun, unique books for creative children. So, if you or someone you know is in the market, or they are a similarly obsessed doodler/artist/painter/colorer, check out some of these other incredible books for kids.
See more at the Usborne website!
Photo Finish and Picture This are coloring books for kids that prefer to color outside of the lines; coloring books like you have never seen before. Filled with all sorts of different ways to draw, paste, color and create, these two books are sure to inspire creativity and imagination in anyone who picks them up. They are sure to get the creative juices flowing!
The first book, Photo Finish, plays with pictures of animals, landscapes, objects and critters, letting you add the finishing touch to each page, turning broccoli into ballerinas, making fish speak, or dropping UFOs in suburban skies.
The second book, Picture This, puts anything-goes scenarios into your hands, allowing you to design your own line of sunglasses, illustrate the cover of an adventure book, or mix-and-match paper doll wedding-day clothes for the happy vegetables (Didn’t you hear? Carrot and Eggplant are getting married!)
Click here to buy these amazing coloring books from Amazon.com
Here are the perfect books for your scribbles, doodles, and so much more. Created by Japanese illustrator Taro Gomi, this is no ordinary coloring book. With playful drawings, funny scenarios, unfinished pictures, and intriguing prompts, this is a book for coloring, imagining, discovering, learning, and of course doodling too!
While book shopping recently for a student of mine, I caught a glimpse of a very familiar spine. I pulled the book down from its high shelf, and stared at the cover of a very familiar, but long-forgotten story.
When I was little my very first job, at the age of 8 or 9, was to write book reviews for the local book store. At the time I was totally obsessed with mystery novels; thus, every book at the store that fit into that category had a brief review, painstakingly written by me on a tiny little notecard. But, if you weren’t interested in mysteries, my contributions to the children’s book area were not very helpful. The employees of the store gently suggested that I expand my horizons a bit, and they put The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster, in my hands. Shortly thereafter a whole new literary world was opened up before me!
This is a very quirky story about a ten-year-old boy named Milo who is feeling very blue. There is nothing that excites him, and he has woefully resigned himself to a life of boredom. That is until Milo returns from school one day to find a curious package that contains a giant toy tollbooth in his bedroom. Milo is all too happy to put the mysterious tollbooth together, and he takes a ride through it on his toy car. Shortly thereafter he is whisked off to the Kingdom of Wisdom where his magical adventure begins. On the way, Milo visits Dictionpolis, the land of words, Digitopolis, the land of numbers, and meets an odd cast of characters including the “watch” dog Tock, the Mathemagician, Officer Short Shift, and the Lethargarians. Milo’s unexpected adventure ultimately shows him just how fascinating life can be.
The Phantom Tollbooth book is full of puns, and beyond clever. Many events in the story, like Milo’s sudden jump to the Island of Conclusions, are the consequences of taking English language idioms literally. I highly recommend it for children of all ages. It was turned into a movie in 1970, so after you read the book, you can watch it on the big screen too!
Click here to purchase The Phantom Tollbooth from Amazon.com.
Click here to purchase The Phantom Tollbooth movie from Amazon.com
Today will be dedicated to the visually stunning creations of Bruno Munari (1907 – 1998). For those of you who are not familiar with him, Munari was an Italian artist and designer with wide-ranging skills. He worked as a painter, sculptor, and industrial designer; he was a graphic artist and filmmaker, a writer and a poet. Munari believed in the power of simple design to stimulate the imagination.
Bruno Munari had a son, Alberto, who inspired him to begin creating children’s materials. Munari was interested in the interrelationship between games, creativity and childhood. For this reason, he strove to create children’s materials that would support the maintenance of the young mind’s elasticity and point of view. Munari did not believe in the inherent value of fantastical stories of princes and princesses, or dragons and monsters; instead, he wanted to create simple stories about people, animals, and plants that awaken the senses. Books with basic story lines and a humorous twist, brought to life by simple, colorful illustrations drawn with clarity and precision.
With this mission in mind, Munari wrote the nine children’s books mentioned below. In addition, he created other “pre-books,” to inspire a love of reading in pre-literate minds. These were stories that could not be communicated with words, that were expressed instead in visual, and tactile terms. For these works he won the Andersen award for Best Children’s Author in 1974, a graphic award in the Bologna Fair for the childhood in 1984, and a Lego award for his exceptional contributions on the development on creativity of children in 1986.