Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A book of possibilities

One of my favourite words is “imagine”. Anything is possible. There are no boundaries. There’s lots of dreaming. Lots of challenges, but in a good way. Anything can be created. No limits. Authenticity is the key. Imagine. I have the word written above the fireplace on the room where I write, edit, sew, blog, read, and gather (a fancy word for 'unfile') all the household papers.

Norman Messenger’s “Imagine” is full of all sorts of possibilities. This book deserves to be explored again and again. Each page has many hidden elements, and once you have discovered that last giant or found the witch’s cat, there is still much pleasure to be had in admiring the way the illustration has been put together.

This is a book with minimal text and maximum impact from the illustrations. There are also small puzzles on the corner of each page, which means you need to find pen and paper to work them out. Another bonus.

It was difficult to know where to start. Where exactly would this fascinating book lead us, artwise? We started with this page.

And then we made our own versions, using paper, scissors, pencils and a split pin. (Next time, I would use cardboard as the paper circle stops lying flat after a few spins.) Annalise had a go – after all, anything with a split pin and a spinning circle in it has to be pretty cool. Tom really got the hang of it, and understood how each individual person had to be lined up exactly to match. Who knows, this could be something he does every day for the next month or it could be a one-off creation. But I would love to see what they both do with this activity in another twelve months, and even another five years. Imagine the possibilities – ballerinas, robots, animals, monsters, people, babies, superheroes, dinosaurs, fairies, sports stars, people in uniforms, families. You could use family photos, magazine pictures, newspaper photos … just imagine!

Many thanks to my friend and neighbour J for lending this book to us!

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