Toilet Tales

Parenting exposes us to a marvel of subjects that we would never imagine ourselves reading and talking about otherwise. Diapers and potty training is definitely one of those. I definitely had my share of doubts and concerns choosing which way to go – and I’m even close to the potty training part of it.

In the beginning I was in a flow of joy and exhaustion (breast feeding + not enough rest) that appeared longer than two weeks. My mom kept telling me “You just have to through these two weeks, afterwards it’ll be a breeze” – and it was. Anyway, I don’t want to get side tracked into nursing here. During that time disposable diapers seemed more practical. We had a stock of diapers at home that I thought would last a year. Well, that wasn’t true. It probably took 3 weeks and they were all gone.

This led me to start reading about cloth diapering and considering the different (and numerous) options out there.

Finally, I decided to just by a few sets of diapers, liners, and cover, and try it out. Other than the fact that I was changing diapers every hour or so – it was all good. Also, I was a little surprised when I did the math of how much it would cost to buy a whole set: a lot.

Finally, the Vancouverite in me kicked in and I thought to myself: Craigslist! I was lucky enough to end up finding someone selling a great selection of cloth diapers in my neighbourhood (and this is how I met Ella, the author of Little Red Caboose). The diapers were in great shape, cared for environmentally, no bleach only good amounts of sunshine – which is enough to keep them clean and fresh. Ella was super nice to give me a hand knitted wool diaper her mother had made. I was all set but I must confess (without shame) that I do a combination of cloth and disposable diapers. Whenever I’m at home Georgia wears cloth ones (which having a washer and drier not be three sets of stairs away, has made it way easier..) and weather allowing Georgia hangs out freely. During the night, when out, or travelling, she wears disposable ones that keep her incredibly dry.

The other day I was talking to a friend about different ways of teaching our children (and letting them teach us). “I’m not a big reader” she said, and knowing her you clearly understand that she is, instead, a person who does, makes, and lives. “But I find it cool to read picture books for my son that have some kind of lesson” – this is precisely what inspired me to write a post about this book, from the shelf of Max’s childhood.

Toilet Tales is a fun, imaginative, and playful book about potty training. It is written and illustrated by Andrea Wayne von Königslöw. Click here for the new edition. “Animals could never use toilets because…”

Advertisements

Exchangescope

I’ve long been an admirer of Planeta Tangerina, a publisher house based in Lisbon, Portugal. Founded by a talented group of designers and artists their books are spreading wings and being translated into many languages. They make picture books not only for kids but adults who marvel at the play between word and image.

I was in Brazil last Winter when I saw this book, Exchangescope, by Bernardo Carvalho.

At the first flip of pages, daunting it seems. What on earth does this mean? And then YOU start to change. And you turn the pages again. With different eyes, a different heart. Each time you see something new. Wheels, flames, trees, particles, birds, movement, macro, micro, falling, building it back up… let your imagination roam free.

And if you please, take a moment of your day and browse through this and other incredible creations by clicking here.

troco_0 troco_1 troco_2 troco_3

A Farmer’s Alphabet

Image

A Farmer’s Alphabet (1981) is a stunning hand-crafted picture book by Mary Azarian. This alphabet book is made of b&w woodcut prints that portray icons of farm-life in Vermont. An artist and farmer herself, Mary Azarian, her life and career happen between the proof press and the field. Her prints have an intricate sense of dedication, hard work, and poetry.

Here are my favorite ones:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

My husband, Max, also grew up amongst orchards, vegetables, and chickens. Surrounded by mountains that framed the seasons as they change.

Spring is here, the Summer near. And here is a picture of Georgia during her first tractor ride:

IMG_1171

Das Haus in den ich wohne (The House I live in)

Image

Illustrations from Das Haus in dem ich wohne (The House I live in) by artist Evelyne Laube, 2008.

“Etching is one of our preferred mediums to develop images. These etchings are developed through the slowdown of the printing process and the interplay of chance and control. It’s a collection of stories and images connected with the house Evelyne lived in.”

Is it raining elephants again? is a collective for illustration and visual design, created by Nina Wehrle and Evelyne Laube. Click here to see their page.

Image

Image

 

The Tree House

You know how some things are really hard describe…

That thing is so amazing, you can’t find the right words.

In this case, that is true, and also, I’m incredibly behind packing.

Four months swept us by and it’s time to go back to Canada.

So, this is an almost wordless post about a wordless picture book.

The Tree House is a majestic piece of art about a tree house, which stays permanent as animals and seasons go by.

Created by the Dutch artist Marije Tolman and her father Ronald Tolman.

Click here for an imaginative review on 32 Pages – A Passion for Picture Books.

I will give you the entirety of this poetic journey: