Saturday, November 30, 2013

Count Down to Christmas with Binny Talib

Award-winning illustrator Binny Talib has put together the most delightful and amusing advent calendar suitable for iPhones and iPads. It's a no-brainer at the bargain price of ninety nine cents ($AU). I am naughty (one of those open-presents-early kind of girl!) and have had a bit of a sneak peek before my children get their hands on it, and I can say with absolute conviction that my kids are going to love it!

Binny Talib Advent Calendar 2013 (screenshot)

The calendar features this lovely street-scape (below) with a surprise game or activity for each day leading up to Christmas. It is beautifully illustrated, super-cute, and made me giggle. 

Binny Talib Advent Calendar 2013 (screenshot)

Binny Talib Advent Calendar 2013 (screenshot)

 Binny Talib Advent Calendar 2013 (screenshot)

I am so excited to be able to share this with my kids; how wonderful that the magic of Christmas can start already. Tomorrow December is here, and in my family we will be venturing out to find a beautiful Christmas tree for our lounge room. The lights, the decorations, the music, the joy on those little faces...oh yay! Let the countdown begin!

Purchase the Binny Talib Advent Calendar at iTunes or at Google Play. Keep up to date with Binny's news over at her blog and website.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Tove Johansson - The Kalas Collection

I adore the fresh, exciting palette Tove Johansson uses in her design. Her new collection - The Kalas Collection - is lively and invigorating with her signature graphic look, unique geos, and eye-popping colour.

Tove Johansson - The Kalas Collection 2013

Tove Johansson - Candy cushion

Tove Johansson -  Candy Round cushion, Girlang cushion (right), and Clover cushion (bottom)

Tove Johansson - Jigsaw cushion

Tove Johansson - Collage cushion (left), Collage cushion dark (right)

Tove Johansson - Clover cushion (left), Papillon pillow (right)

I love the way Tove balances out busy patterns with a few very carefully considered simpler designs such as the Clover and Papillon pillows above, and my absolute favourite the Candy Round cushion. I was trying to think of a way to describe how I feel when I see design that makes me excited like this; I came up with 'heart-soaring'! It gives me a little rush of adrenalin and energy. It makes my heart soar. Thank you Tove! 

Be sure to visit Tove's website and store for more information. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Most Interesting Boring Book Ever!

Now that I am feeling well again, and life has slowed down a bit, I have been asking myself when or if I should resume blogging. Then last week a truly delightful book arrived in my letterbox and I absolutely can't resist sharing it. So, Kitty as a Picture is back, and kicking off with The Boring Book by Vasanti Unka (which I can assure you is anything but boring!)

The Boring Book by Vasanti Unka

The Boring Book opens with a book (an adorable lift-the-flap insert) that is said to be so boring it sends everyone who attempts to read it to sleep. (Adults, do take the time to read the text in the lift-the-flap book - it's hilarious and very clever.)

The Boring Book by Vasanti Unka

This book is sooooo boring that even the words themselves are fed up. They are tired of standing around in rows, and instead begin to play and be creative. Then one day they skip right out of the book to freedom and begin to get up to a little mischief.

The Boring Book by Vasanti Unka

At first there is much fun and excitement, but then things start to go awry. The words need to be reined in; there is just too much confusion. So what happens to the words? Can they still have fun? Inspire? Play?

The Boring Book concludes in the most surprising and delightful way, and the book appeals to me on so many levels. It is a unique story idea with a valuable message for children about the joys of creative word play. As a book-lover, occasional creative writer, and parent I am super-excited to have discovered this book and what it has to offer my kids.
The artwork is lively and expressive, well suited to the story. And, the illustrations incorporate pattern - my passion. Add some lift-the-flap elements and you have my idea of the perfect children's book. The Boring Book is cute, quirky, and totally lovable. Thank you Vasanti Unka and Penguin Group (NZ), I'm smitten and so is my daughter!

The Boring Book by Vasanti Unka
IBSN: 9780143505754
Published by Penguin Group (NZ)

November 2013
Imprint: Puffin
Format: Hardback

32 pages

About the author

Vasanti Unka is a designer and illustrator based in Auckland. She is the illustrator of The Bean's Story, which was a 2008 Storylines notable book, and Hill & Hole by Kyle Mewburn. Hill & Hole was shortlisted for the 2011 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. It won the LIANZA Russell Clarke award the same year and was also the first children's book to win the Gerard Reid Award for Best Book at the PANZ Book Design Awards.