Cup and Chaucer: Mini Pocket Flipbook

One of the most enjoyable snail mail projects I worked on this year was a mini pocket flipbook for a swap in the Cup and Chaucer group on swap-bot.  Cup and Chaucer, as you might have guessed, is a group of swap-bots who love mulling over a great literature with piping hot cup of tea.

I’d never done a flipbook before, but my interest was piqued by the theme–books!  How could I resist?  Besides sticking to the theme, the only other requirement was that we incorporate a pocket.

My “receive from” partner, AnnaM, created a beautiful flipbook–lots of purple and gold, pretty embellishments, and many thoughtful handmade items.  Overall, it was an elegant flipbook, nicely presented.

This is how the flipbook came out of the envelope:

Flipbook Packaging

Flipbook Packaging

Here’s the front cover:

Flipbook Front Cover

Flipbook Front Cover

And the back cover:

Back Cover

“There is no scent so pleasant to my nostrils as the faint subtle reek which comes from an ancient book.” –Arthur Conan Doyle

And everything in between [click an image for a closer look]:

Here’s a closer look at some of the tuck-ins [click an image for a closer look]:

There was just so much “eye candy.” I remember doing the happy mail dance when I opened the package.

The swap came at a crazy time for me–April.  The cruelest month. Remember?  I didn’t even see an opportunity to work on it until the mail deadline date.  I ended up grabbing a bunch of supplies on my way out the door one morning, working on it, and completing it in record time in my office (between classes, of course).  I posted it on my way home.

I chose a color pallet and crafted without a plan:

fullsizerender-57

It was early spring and I was happy to see and play with color again.

True to my “English professor” word, I finished the front cover last (I tell my students to write their essay introductions last).

Bookish Flipbook Front Cover

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”  –Charles Williams Eliot

Here’s the back cover and everything in-between [click an image for a closer look]:

My favorite part is Dickens’ Dream by Victorian artist Robert William Buss.  I scavenged it from a mailer from one of the textbook publishers. The curly haired lady was also salvaged from an envelope or the back of a postcard.

The flipbook was 5 x 7 inches, a manageable size.  It was bound with washi tape. I tucked in Jane Austen postcards, Project Life cards, star-shaped Post-it notes, washi tape, and paperclip bookmarks–something else I learned to do this year.

Making the flipbook was an easy and fun activity; I’m looking forward to crafting another one. If you’d like to make your own flipbook and need to see more of the process, here’s the YouTube video I reviewed before making my own:

Doesn’t this look like fun for a rainy day?

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Dr. Seuss: Postcards and Kid Art (+ Freebies)

Did you celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2nd?  Did you pick up a book in his honor?  I have been having a lot of fun reviewing Dr. Seuss’s books and enjoying the zany and just plain strange art he created. I hosted my third annual “Dr. Seuss’s Birthday” swap on swap-bot just to get some adults involved in my obsession with Dr. Seuss, so a few of us had a little fun sending each other flat-themed packages based on Theodor Geisel’s children’s literature. My partner will receive a bunch of cool Dr. Seuss-inspired items–“The Cat in the Hat” swap cards, sparkly stickers, the Yertle the Turtle  story, a book suggestion, two bookmarks and this postcard I found on ebay:

“Find the Cat in the Hat Today”

This is actually an ad card for HarperCollins Publishers, but it doesn’t really look like one.  It was designed and printed by Boomerang Media, a UK-based marketing company.

My partner, “JaMaJo” sent me a handmade postcard and an ATC.  The ATC took a little bit of a beating on its way through the postal system, but it’s still cute.

“Try them, try them and you may!
Try them and you may, I say.”

And here’s the “Green Eggs and Ham” ATC:

“Green Eggs and Ham” ATC by JaMaJo

Dr. Seuss reminds me of childhood reading and fun.  I loved reading as a child and read every book I could get my hands on.  I spent hours on weekend afternoons lying in my bed reading. I vividly recall my Beverly Cleary phase.   Although our teachers encouraged reading and often offered incentives, we didn’t have cool programs like the NEA’s Read Across America; nor did we celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday.  I feel like I missed out on something big (like I do when I see that baby dolls can do so much more now), but one of the wonderful things about having a young child is that I can re-visit my childhood through him and with him.  So I celebrate RAA/Dr. Seuss’s birthday with him. Last week, his first/second grade class participated in Read Across America and held a weeklong celebration of Dr. Seuss.  The kids read and shared their favorite books and ended the week with a birthday celebration/Dr. Seuss-themed costume party.

They also completed a few creative art projects. If you’ve been following my blog, you should know I was thrilled to see the children’s art (see earlier post on children’s art) .  I photographed some of the projects just so I can enjoy them a little longer. Let’s take a look at some of the art from Adrienne Saulsbury’s class.  This first set features the children’s artistic renderings of “The Cat in the Hat” (Click any image to view larger).

I think they’re pretty good for first and second graders!  I can’t draw as well as some of them as an adult!

The second set showcases book covers the students created.  Inspired by There’s a Wocket in My Pocket, the students came up with a silly book title that included a made-up item that rhymed with a real object.

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The silly titles are adorable.  They certainly captured the spirit of Dr. Seuss.  Oh, to be a kid and have such wonderful projects!  It’s cute that the kids signed their books, “Dr. ___.”

I’m convinced these art projects not only stimulate creativity, but they pique the children’s interest in reading.  Isn’t that what celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday is all about? I appreciate Mrs. Saulsbury for focusing so much on reading and for doing what she can to make reading fun for her students.  She encourages the children and parents to read together daily. She reminds parents that they should read to their children and their children should read to them.  She even urges the children to keep a reading log. My little one has been reading since he was 3.  He is quite a reader and although he claims he has to “be in the mood,” we have never had a problem getting him to read.  He reads everything–the Bible, storybooks, serial novels, kid-friendly comic books, magazines, informative books on robots (of course), space, science and nature.  We sometimes read as many as 5 or 6 books in one evening–down from 10 (when he was much younger).  Reading is such an important fundamental skill. Without it, the other skills can be inaccessible.

If you want to get into some Dr. Seuss this week, check out Lysa’s Illustrator Study list on Amazon for suggestions.  There’s something for all ages.  Brain Pickings also offers a number of excellent posts on Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss):  WWII Political Propaganda Cartoons and The Seven Lady Godivas and The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss.

Oh, I almost forgot. I created two bookmarks for the class, and now, I’m sharing them with you. I designed these using papers and elements from myfuninvites.com.

Reading with the Cat in the Hat

Reading with the Cat in the Hat

Reading with Thing 1 and Thing 2

Reading with Thing 1 and Thing 2

If you have any problems downloading any of these, let me know via “comment” and I’ll deliver the bookmarks to you via email and, if necessary, in another format.

I also photographed each student in his or her Dr. Seuss-inspired costume and holding a favorite book.  Here’s my own little “Cat in the Hat.”

My own personal

My own personal “Cat in the Hat”

Happy reading!