Spineless Classics–Art for Readers

Spineless Classics is a company that creates posters out of the entire full text of a work.  Then a silhouette from the book is placed so that the words wrap around it.  The text is in 4 point font, tiny but legible.  For me, it is the beauty of the words and the silhouette that make me covet these.

Here is my favorite, The Wind in the Willows, but many others are lovely too:


Review: A Zeal of Zebras by Woop Studios

zeal of zebras

A Zeal of Zebras: An Alphabet of Collective Nouns by Woop Studios

Follow the alphabet on a journey through the beautiful and evocative collective nouns in our language.  You will get to see a galaxy of starfish, an aurora of polar bears, and even an ostentation of peacocks.  Each animal then has a paragraph or two of information on them, small details that show the unique qualities of that creature.  This is all paired with vibrant illustrations that have the feel of vintage posters and are graphic and wild.  This is one alphabet book that is more about the wordplay and the art than the ABCs.

While the paragraphs are well-written and concise, it is really the art that makes this book special.  The printed and distressed quality of the images and the way that the posters are replayed on the pages with words make the entire work visually intriguing. 

As I finished reading this with both of my sons looking over my shoulder and commenting on the incredible collective nouns, we all agreed that whoever named collective nouns was an artist.  The same can be said for this entire book.  It was done by real artists.  Appropriate for ages 5-8.

Reviewed from library copy.

Also reviewed by:

Review: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

why we broke up

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, illustrated by Maira Kalman

Released December 27, 2011.

Min and Ed have broken up, that’s why she thunks down a box full of things on his doorstep.  Inside the box are the small mementos of a relationship and the answers to what is behind their break up.  The box also contains a long letter to Ed that Min has written, explaining fully both the growth of their relationship and her feelings for him, but even more so the reasons that they can never be together.  The box holds memories and mementos: a toy truck, a movie ticket, a protractor, a note, and rose petals.  Each item is tied to a part of the story, a moment in their time together, times when there were warnings of how it would end but Min ignored all of them until that last one.  The one that brings us back to this box and that doorstep.

Handler’s writing here is striking.  He moves from a more normal syntax and structure into rushes of stream of conscious writing that is breathless and dazzling and bitter.  These are the moments where the pain of the breakup is right there, a heartbeat away.  It is a book filled with surprising moments, aching with importance and equally part of normal life. 

This is a relationship laid bare and honest, searingly truthful at times.  At the same time, distrust and foreboding is always right there since the reader knows from the first page that the relationship is doomed.  It is this rich mix of the delight of new love and the awareness that it ended badly that makes the book compulsively readable. 

Dazzling and honest, this book will speak to any teen who has been dumped, any teen in a relationship, and any teen looking for one.  Appropriate for ages 15-17.

Reviewed from ARC received from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Check out the Why We Broke Up Project website too.