Archive for February, 2009

pictures and poetry at play: (7) henry walks to paris

February 28, 2009

I really love the designs and movie credits by Saul Bass. But this is a children’s book by Saul Bass, apparantly the only one he designed: “Henri’s walk to Paris”is outof print too, but you can get to see a lot of it  on this Flickr set”Henri’s walk to Paris”  




Some more recent Saul Bass inspired opening sequence of  movies are “Catch me if you can” and the credits of “Lemony Snicket”. I found some of the title sequences on YouTube, you really have to see them on a big screen, the mini versions don’t do them any credit.  I think I enjoyed the very long five minutes of end credits of Lemony Snicket End as much as the whole film. 

cross stitch

February 28, 2009


Embroidered Text Messages

A whole series of cross stitched text messages. It is worth reading them all, nice story and I will not tell you whether there is a happy end.

poetry at play: picture books (6) mapping images

February 24, 2009


My Map Book by Sara Fanelli 

“In each spread of this bold and humorous picture book, children can examine their place in the world through detailed and engaging maps. Twelve beautiful maps such as Map of My Day, Map of My Family and Map of My Tummy will fascinate children, encouraging interactivity and comment. There are spaces to fill in their own contributions and a fold-out jacket that becomes a colourful map-poster for a bedroom wall, plus a reversible side on which children can draw their own map.”

pictures and poetry at play (5) follow the line

February 24, 2009


Follow the Line by Laura Ljungkvist (Illustrator)

pictures and poetry at play: (4) dada and type

February 23, 2009

These two books don’t promise much from their cover.  However their authors Kurt Schwitters and Ernst Jandl, the design is contemporary by Sabine Schmekel. The publisher calls them typographic picture books. Dada poet Kurt Schwitter wrote several books for children, this  one is based on a whimsical poem first published 1928. Ernst Jandls is my favourite German language poet. Some of his poems have made it into school textbooks, and they are fun for adluts and children.

Review from the Neue Zürcher Zeitung Doppelnippelsks
Doppelmoppel. Typographisches Bilderbuch des Gedichts 
Both out of print, Jandl’s book is not even available sevond hand.


pictures and poetry at play (3) coming

February 21, 2009


Eli, no! – Cover, originally uploaded by Katie Kirk.

Eli, no! “A children’s book. The story of one trouble-making dog, and the one word that isn’t far behind. Dedicated to my nephew Parker and niece Kiki (and Eli, of course). Katie Kirk.”

The complete set of pages was on  Flickr, and has been taken down, I guess it is going to be published soon. I like the style of illustrations, sometimes reminiscent of isotype images,  more of it on

pictures and poetry at play: (2) playground games

February 20, 2009



Lovely idea for a picture book: concrete poetry for children in Outside the lines: poetry at play by Brad Burg. Unfortunately it seems out of print right now.

Check out his website for more stuff, including a page for teachers.

pictures and poetry at play: (1) sparkle and spin

February 19, 2009

Most picture books for children include both words and images, however, I have been searching for books that invite to explore the relationship between words and images in new ways. Some are well known picture books classics, others are new, or new at least to me.

They may be what have been called “postmodern” picture books, books where words and images unfold complementary and contrasting narratives, such as Sendaks’s well known “Where the Wild Things are”, where the images considerably contribute and alter to the possible meanings of the book. They may also deliberately break the traditional boundaries between text and image, through concrete poetry, or other unusual page layouts. They may focus on the nature of the relationship between pictures and stores at their core, such as Leo Lionni’s “Frederick”.

Here is the first one:

Sparkle and Spin A Book About Words

by designer Paul Rand and his wife Ann Rand



February 18, 2009


I know there are hundreds of fonts out there, but his alphabet by Tim Fishlock is just great. I cannot help it, it just makes me smile. In it’s entirety only, to contemplate the nature of letters, words and meaning.

international children’s digital library

February 17, 2009


Fantastic resource of picture books from all over the world, most are out of copyright. In many languages, and from countries all over the globe. Here they can be read online. A true treasure!

There is also a German Alphabet and Early Reading Book from 1832 with lovely illustrations.

ABC und Lesebuch


the island of sans seriffe

February 15, 2009


A while ago I tried to map part of the land of Academia, in particular the Ancient City of Thesis and sourrounding provinces. This map must be from a similar planet. Apparently it was printed by the Guardian, but I cannot remember where I found it.

vintage illustrations

February 15, 2009


A lovely range of Illustrations taken from vintage children’s books (out of copyright) can be found here:

book love

February 14, 2009


from Book Lust

This is dedicated to my lovely husband!

i love my life the way it is

February 13, 2009


Funny project: Ali Alvarez started a collection of lottery scratchcards, however he does not scratch them, ever, he promises. He was thinking about how playing the lottery gets “your hopes high, dreaming, escaping, and then usually being let down.”, which he says; “happens to me on a daily basis WITHOUT the lottery’s help.” He started collecting scratch cards, as an experiment, and showing them to people he found “it makes them a little crazy. I think I’m onto something here.”

I think so too!

interactive alphabet zoo

February 12, 2009


This is just a screenshot, click Bembo’s Zoo to play.

without word and image

February 11, 2009


via infosthetics

I quote: “Web Without Words” [] is a website that takes a popular website each week and reconstructs it without its words and images. Instead, its replaces them with blocks, similar to the “wireframing” process in information architecture. It is quite similar to Internet Soul Portrait, in abstracting a popular web presence to its bare minimum.

complete works

February 10, 2009


Concrete poem by bpNichol.
There is nothing to add.
Its that simple, really.

But if you want to read more, read about an anthology of bpNichol’s poems here: More Than Just Alphabet Soup

easter wings

February 9, 2009


George Herbert, Easter Wings/ The Temple (1633)

More about historical visual poetry:  How do we define Visual Poetry (and letter-inspired art) by Phillip John Usher

“Our understanding of visual poetry means that words and letters become plastic; they are (perhaps) also signifiers, but they are first and foremost objects: they “are” before they “mean,” suggesting they take on a life of their own. And yet words and letters never totally escape their linguistic sounds and meanings-hence the games our mind plays when we view visual poetry, caught-as it is-between different ways of viewing. It’s a bifurcated road: should I read, or should I see? How do letters and words get in the way? How do they confuse (in the strongest sense) the image?” 

shaker visual poetry

February 8, 2009


Shaker Visual Poetry found on this great website full of resources Ubuweb

An excerpt: “Between 1837 and 1850 (“known as the Era of Manifestations”) the Shakers composed (or were the recipients of) “hundreds of … visionary drawings … really [spiritual] messages in pictorial form,” writes Edward Deming Andrews (The Gift To Be Simple, 1940). “The designers of these symbolic documents felt their work was controlled by supernatural agencies … — gifts bestowed on some individual in the order (usually not the one who made the drawing.” The same is true of the “gift songs” and other verbal works, and the invention of forms in both the songs and drawings is extraordinary, as is their resemblance to the practice of later poets and artists.”

stair poetry

February 7, 2009


Walking stairwords by Geof Huth

Geof Huth painted some visual poems on the  staircase of his house, made from the private family language and kidspeak. It has several stanzas, the third one on the ceiling over the staircase.

I just love this idea, and I wished we were back in our house in London, where I hated having to climb up and down several sets of stairs all day long. I could have made a simple poem with four stanzas! I would prefer a poem, which is rhythmical, and can be memorized. This reminds me of my childhood, when we used to stay at my grandparents’ house. My grandfather would take me and my brother to bed upstairs, and every night walking up the stairs he would say the same counting, rhyming nonsense poem. I used to love that part, it made climbing up the stairs and having to go to sleep fun.

A staircase poem allows to connect the movement of the body through time and space with the rhythm and music of the words.

frost and steam

February 7, 2009


Geof Huth, “at last” (3 January 2009)

Geof Huth, “one steams” (24 January 2009)

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