An art journey through childhood's best remembered stories.
Exhibition Dates: April 25 – May 9, 2015
Storybook: James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl | James and the Giant Peach is a popular children's novel written in 1961 by British author Roald Dahl. The plot centres on a young English orphan boy who enters a gigantic, magical peach, and has a wild and surreal cross-world adventure with six magically-altered garden bugs he meets. Roald Dahl was originally going to write about a giant cherry, but changed it to James and the Giant Peach because a peach is "prettier, bigger and squishier than a cherry."
Richard James Oliver
Born in Pontypridd, Wales in 1975.
Currently Paints and resides in Los Angeles CA.
Solo exhibitions include the Known Gallery, Hollywood, Los Angeles. Museum of Modern Art, Wales. Attic Gallery, Swansea and Rhondda Heritage park permanent Mural.
Mixed Exhibitions Worldwide including London, New York and most recently Los Angeles.
Paintings currently hang in Museums and public display throughout the UK and private clients are worldwide.
Richard J Oliver was born and raised in Wales, United Kingdom, studied Fine Art at the University of the West of England and undertook his Masters at UWIC in Wales. In his time between studies, Oliver built his reputation, beginning in Wales and later gaining recognition throughout the UK. His work has been included in numerous European group shows, which then segued into solo shows, including an exhibition at the prestigious Museum of Modern Art in Wales.
Oliver's early work focused on his homeland, particularly the struggle of its youth trying to find identity in the aftermath of the local mining industry's demise. His work often showcased the skeleton landscapes of mining villages in the Welsh valleys juxtaposed with contemporary youth.
His latest works explore more universal subjects, from environmental issues to humanitarian and social problems that are close to his heart.
Since becoming a parent, Oliver has explored the anxieties of raising a child in an environment on the brink of disaster. The images touch on the tragedy of children forced to survive in an apocalyptic environment and violently fend for themselves. He transforms the natural instincts of fatherhood and family protection into striking visuals. More recently, portraits have crossed into the dark, brooding world of Grimm's fairytales and surrealistic subjects that help convey the emotion and tragedy of our world's children. Oliver works closely with many charities, most recently donating proceeds to Dreamlovecure.org and City of Hope's Department of Paediatrics.
Storybook: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame | The Wind in the Willows is a children's novel by Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. Alternately slow moving and fast paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphised animals in a pastoral version of England. The novel is notable for its mixture of mysticism, adventure, morality, and camaraderie and celebrated for its evocation of the nature of the Thames valley.
Storybook: Stellaluna by Janell Cannon | A mother fruitbat loves her baby called Stellaluna very much and would never let anything happen to her. When the two are attacked by an owl, the predator knocks Stellaluna out of her mother's safe embrace. Soon the baby bat ends up in a bird's nest filled with three baby birds named Pip, Flitter and Flap. The mother bird will let Stellaluna be part of the family only if she eats bugs, does not hang by her feet and sleeps at night.
When all the baby animals grow, they learn to fly. When Stellaluna and the birds are out playing, it gets dark and the birds go home without her because they will not be able to see in the dark. Stellaluna keeps flying, but when Stellaluna's wings hurt, she stops to rest. When she does, she hangs by her thumbs. Soon another bat comes to ask why Stellaluna is hanging by her thumbs. She tells the bat the story of what had happened after she and her mother were attacked by the owl. Another bat interrupts the story. That bat is Stellaluna's mother. Stellaluna and her mother are happily reunited and Stellaluna finally understands why she is so different.
Excited about learning how to be a bat, Stellaluna returns to Pip, Flitter, and Flap in order to share her new experiences. They agree to join Stellaluna and the bats at night, but find they are unsuited to flying at night and nearly crash. Stellaluna rescues them and the four of them decide that while they may be very different, they are still friends and family.
Laurie Lee Brom grew up in the historical town of Charleston, South Carolina, the local ghost stories and folk tales of the swampy Low County, and rich Gullah culture stirring her imagination. She spent untold hours pursuing pixies and tree frogs in the hollow logs and Pluff Mud of her own backyard. Today she still pursues fairy folk along with all manner of curious ghosts and odd characters in her enchanting portraits and paintings.
Storybook: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. by Judy Blume | Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. is a 1970 book by Judy Blume, typically categorized as a young adult novel, about a girl in sixth grade who grew up without a religious affiliation. Margaret's mother is Christian and her father is Jewish, and the novel explores her quest for a single religion. Margaret also confronts many other pre-teen female issues, such as buying her first bra, having her first period, coping with belted sanitary napkins (changed to adhesive sanitary pads for recent editions of the book), jealousy towards another girl who has developed a womanly figure earlier than other girls, liking boys, and whether to voice her opinion if it differs from those of her friends.
Lori Nelson is a Brooklyn-based artist from Utah. She is the Director of Artists in Residence for 4heads.org on Governors Island, NYC.
Storybook: Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont | Beauty and the Beast (French: La Belle et la Bête) is a traditional fairy tale written by French novelist Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont and published in 1756. Variants of the tale are known across Europe and all over the world.
"I was born in year 1980 in Latvia, a small country in the North-
My inspirations have been as diverse as: folklore fairytales, children book illustrations, imaginative soviet animation films and supernaturally real classical painting; the colorful forbidden rare secret imagery of the western pop culture surrounded by mystical, almost religious tone for us, soviet children; the terrifying war and deportation stories that my grandparents, and their little brothers and sister witnessed as small children; pompous alienated eerie atmosphere of the catholic church ceremonies, and the breathtakingly beautiful ballet performances in the opera house, where I was taken since the age of two etc. – all the bitter-
But most of all, life is my inspiration. The way I comprehend it, and myself. People are my inspiration. The state of a human soul -
I have been exhibiting my artwork internationally since age of 15.
Till now, my work’s been exhibited and can be found in collections all across Europe – Italy, Belgium, UK, Switzerland, Germany, Lithuania, Russia, Finland, Spain, etc. – as well as in USA and Australia." ~Jana Brike
Storybook: The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf | The Story of Ferdinand (1936) is the best known work written by American author Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson. The children's book tells the story of a bull who would rather smell flowers than fight in bullfights. He sits in the middle of the bull ring failing to take heed of any of the provocations of the matador and others to fight.
The book was released nine months before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, and was seen by many supporters of Francisco Franco as a pacifist book. It was banned in many countries, including in Spain. In Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler ordered the book burned, while Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, granted it privileged status as the only non-communist children's book allowed in Poland. India's leader Mahatma Gandhi called it his favorite book.
Leaf is said to have written the story on a whim in an afternoon in 1935, largely to provide his friend, illustrator Robert Lawson (then relatively unknown) a forum in which to showcase his talents.
The landscape in which Lawson placed the fictional Ferdinand is more or less real. Lawson faithfully reproduced the view of the city of Ronda in Andalusia for his illustration of Ferdinand being brought to Madrid on a cart: we see the Puente Nuevo ("New Bridge") spanning the El Tajo canyon. The Disney movie added some rather accurate views of Ronda and the Puente Romano ("Roman bridge") and the Puente Viejo ("Old bridge") at the beginning of the story, where Lawson's pictures were more free. Ronda is home to the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain that is still used; this might have been a reason for Lawson's use of its surroundings as a background for the story.
Isabel Samarasʼ work is a form of visual storytelling that is witty, mysterious, and tender. Her painted narratives are classical in technique and pop in content, revolving around issues of secret love, unrequited lust and making things end the way we wish they would. Best known for lush and meticulously painted riffs on Old Masters that send up pop culture icons of the '70s, her ribald images are woven with references to classic horror movies, ancient mythology, cheesy television, and childhood fables.
Familiar to a broad audience through publications like Juxtapoz and International Tattoo Art magazines, her work has also been featured in books such as 20th Century Women Artists, Pop Surrealism: The Rise of Underground Art, Weirdo Deluxe: The Wild World of Pop Surrealism and Lowbrow Art‚ and her monograph titled On Tender Hooks: The Art of Isabel Samaras. She opened her studio to the television shows Internet Tonight‚ SexTV, and the documentary films‚ The Lowdown on Lowbrow and Newbrow: Contemporary Underground Art.
Comparing her work to postmodern painting, one critic writes: “Samaras has created a truly populist art. Fairy tales, magical realism, and the forbidden fantasies of fabled characters present a world where elusive desires become reality. She often re-imagines gothic romances with happy endings, and ill-fated journeys turn into enchanted honeymoons. Tinged with mischief, she invites the viewer to be part of her humorous and heartfelt storytelling process.”
Storybook: The Tortoise and The Hare by Aesop's Fables | The story concerns a Hare who ridicules a slow-moving Tortoise. Tired of the Hare's boastful behaviour, the Tortoise challenges him to a race. The hare soon leaves the tortoise behind and, confident of winning, takes a nap midway through the race. When the Hare awakes however, he finds that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, has arrived before him. The later version of the story in La Fontaine's Fables (VI.10), while more long-winded, differs hardly at all from Aesop's.
As in several other fables by Aesop, there is a moral ambiguity about the lesson it is teaching. Later interpreters have asserted that it is the proverbial 'the more haste, the worse speed' (Samuel Croxall) or have applied to it the Biblical observation that 'the race is not to the swift' (Ecclesiastes 9.11). In Classical times it was not the Tortoise’s plucky conduct in taking on a bully that was emphasised but the Hare’s foolish over-confidence. An old Greek source comments that 'many people have good natural abilities which are ruined by idleness; on the other hand, sobriety, zeal and perseverance can prevail over indolence.
Storybook: Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault. | The story revolves around a girl called Little Red Riding Hood, after the red hooded cape/cloak. The girl walks through the woods to deliver food to her sickly grandmother (wine and cake depending on the translation).
A mean wolf wants to eat the girl and the food in the basket. He secretly stalks her behind trees, bushes, shrubs, and patches of little and tall grass. He approaches Little Red Riding Hood and she naïvely tells him where she is going. He suggests that the girl pick some flowers; which she does. In the meantime; he goes to the grandmother's house and gains entry by pretending to be the girl. He swallows the grandmother whole (in some stories, he locks her in the closet) and waits for the girl, disguised as the grandma.
When the girl arrives, she notices that her grandmother looks very strange. Little Red then says, "What a deep voice you have!" ("The better to greet you with"), "Goodness, what big eyes you have!" ("The better to see you with"), "And what big hands you have!" ("The better to hug/grab you with"), and lastly, "What a big mouth you have" ("The better to eat you with!"), at which point the wolf jumps out of bed, and swallows her up too. Then he falls asleep. In Charles Perrault's version of the story (the first version to be published), the tale ends here. However, in later versions the story continues generally as follows:
A lumberjack (in the French version but in the Brothers Grimm and traditional German versions, a hunter), comes to the rescue and with his axe cuts open the sleeping wolf. Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother emerge unharmed. They then fill the wolf's body with heavy stones. The wolf awakens and tries to flee, but the stones cause him to collapse and die. (Sanitized versions of the story have the grandmother shut in the closet instead of eaten, and some have Little Red Riding Hood saved by the lumberjack as the wolf advances on her, rather than after she is eaten.)
Storybook: Thumbelina by Hans Christian Andersen | Thumbelina (Danish: Tommelise) is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen first published by C. A. Reitzel on 16 December 1835 in Copenhagen, Denmark with "The Naughty Boy" and "The Traveling Companion" in the second installment of Fairy Tales Told for Children. "Thumbelina" is about a tiny girl and her adventures with appearance- and marriage-minded toads, moles, and cockchafers. She successfully avoids their intentions before falling in love with a flower-fairy prince just her size.
Ciou, was born in Toulouse in 1981, she actually works and lives in her home town , after living in Bruxelles and Paris.
She succeeded to gain a relevant place in the world of contemporary pop art and lowbrow, at a very young age . The exhibit that gave her international visibility was in 2004 at the Flux Factory gallery in New York City with the group show » Cute and Scary » with confirmed lowbrow artists. From there she went on to show in Amsterdam at the Kochxbos gallery, Paris, Barcelona, Brussels, California, Portland, Roma , Berlin, NYC at the Cotton Candy Machine gallery , also Seattle with her fist solo show » Mysterious flowers » in usa at the gallery Roq La Rue in late 2010. She’s Actually working on the fourth solo show at the Kochxbos gallery in January 2015 and several group show in USA and Europe.
In the media, the art and life of ciou was on Dutch national Tv, VPRO for the international Sarah’s Barbaren documentary. Also she made her first book in 2009 » Chat siamois » with the french editor Venusdea. « Ciou collected art » is out now, 144 pages, first art book , edited by Kochxbos Publishers 2014
Suspended between dream and nightmare, her paintings consist of a base made of a collage of old papers, taken from old medical books, dictionaries, and nature manuals, where she uses acrylic and ink; creating her own personal mixed media . Her Influences are diverses : the american vintage culture from the 30′ to the 70′ , the victorian style and the european barocco too , however she is focused on the japanese culture and japanese traditional and contemporary art . Her style is characterized by a line of great expressive force and a language where the power of color and deformation of shapes combine to make her stroke unmistakable . Ciou creates her own « necro-kawai » cosmology of characters mainly centered around witch-y nature burlesque girls and their strange animal companions. Her new works feature florescent psychedelic colors as a foil for her obsessive black line work. Her darkly charming works are creepy in a very playful way, a little bit of sweet and a little bit of sour in a friendly and dangerous world .
Storybook: The Story of the Three Bears by Robert Southey |
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks. She went for a walk in the forest. Pretty soon, she came upon a house. She knocked and, when no one answered, she walked right in.
At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry. She tasted the porridge from the first bowl.
"This porridge is too hot!" she exclaimed.
So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.
"This porridge is too cold," she said
So, she tasted the last bowl of porridge.
"Ahhh, this porridge is just right," she said happily and she ate it all up.
After she'd eaten the three bears' breakfasts she decided she was feeling a little tired. So, she walked into the living room where she saw three chairs. Goldilocks sat in the first chair to rest her feet.
"This chair is too big!" she exclaimed.
So she sat in the second chair.
"This chair is too big, too!" she whined.
So she tried the last and smallest chair.
"Ahhh, this chair is just right," she sighed. But just as she settled down into the chair to rest, it broke into pieces!
Goldilocks was very tired by this time, so she went upstairs to the bedroom. She lay down in the first bed, but it was too hard. Then she lay in the second bed, but it was too soft. Then she lay down in the third bed and it was just right. Goldilocks fell asleep.
As she was sleeping, the three bears came home.
"Someone's been eating my porridge," growled the Papa bear.
"Someone's been eating my porridge," said the Mama bear.
"Someone's been eating my porridge and they ate it all up!" cried the Baby bear.
"Someone's been sitting in my chair," growled the Papa bear.
"Someone's been sitting in my chair," said the Mama bear.
"Someone's been sitting in my chair and they've broken it all to pieces," cried the Baby bear.
They decided to look around some more and when they got upstairs to the bedroom, Papa bear growled, "Someone's been sleeping in my bed,"
"Someone's been sleeping in my bed, too" said the Mama bear
"Someone's been sleeping in my bed and she's still there!" exclaimed Baby bear.
Just then, Goldilocks woke up and saw the three bears. She screamed, "Help!" And she jumped up and ran out of the room. Goldilocks ran down the stairs, opened the door, and ran away into the forest. And she never returned to the home of the three bears.
Edith Lebeau is a Canadian artist based on the north shore of Montreal, Quebec. She spends most of her time painting in her studio with her Evil cat named Jack. For some time, Lebeau lived in the countryside, surrounded by fields, forest and a distant horizon line. Lebeau paints strong female figures intricately paired with fauna and flora elements. She draws inspiration from pop culture, movies, music videos, fairytales and various mythologies. Her works has been exhibited in Montreal, Berlin, Rome, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco and New York among other cities.
Storybook: Charlotte's Web by E.B. White | Charlotte's Web is a children's novel by American author E. B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams; it was published in 1952 by Harper & Brothers. The novel tells the story of a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered by the farmer, Charlotte writes messages praising Wilbur (such as "Some Pig") in her web in order to persuade the farmer to let him live.
Written in White's dry, low-key manner, Charlotte's Web is considered a classic of children's literature, enjoyable to adults as well as children. The description of the experience of swinging on a rope swing at the farm is an often cited example of rhythm in writing, as the pace of the sentences reflects the motion of the swing. In 2000, Publishers Weekly listed the book as the best-selling children's paperback of all time.
Michael Ramstead was born in 1988. He earned his BA at UC Davis in 2010, majoring in Art Studio and minoring in Art History. He currently lives and works in Long Beach, California.
Storybook: The Giver by Lois Lowry | The Giver is a 1993 American social science fiction children's novel (generally Young Adult or older) by Lois Lowry. It is set in a society which is at first presented as a utopian society but then has the reader question whether the societies' utopia is worth the cost. The novel follows a boy named Jonas through the twelfth and thirteenth years of his life. The society has eliminated pain and strife by converting to "Sameness," a plan that has also eradicated emotional depth from their lives. Jonas is selected to inherit the position of Receiver of Memory, the person who stores all the past memories of the time before Sameness, as there may be times where one must draw upon the wisdom gained from history to aid the communities' decision making. Jonas struggles with concepts of all of the new emotions, and things being introduced to him, and whether they are inherently good, evil, in-between, and if it's even possible to have one without the other. The Community lacks any color, memory, climate and terrain whatsoever, all in effort to preserve structure, order, and a true sense of equality beyond personal individuality.
Jaclyn Alderete is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and has resided in the Bay Area since 2001. She has been passionate about art since she was a child, when she first developed an interest in drawing people. She fell in love with oil paint at the age of 16, and over the years has drawn inspiration from many things; concerns of human existence, society, and our treatment of the environment. She continues to surround herself with art, sketching or painting daily.
Storybook: Lon Po Po by Ed Young | Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China is a children's picture book translated and illustrated by Ed Young. The story is a Chinese version of the popular children's fable "Little Red Riding Hood" as retold by Young. Contrary to the original fable, in which there is only one child (little Red Riding Hood) who interacts with the nemesis of the story (the wolf), Lon Po Po has three children. It is written from the children's (in the story) point of view. The majority of the illustrations are divided into three pictures per every two pages to form a bigger picture (with a few exceptions). Young uses dark colors for the illustrations to set the tone of the story.
Storybook: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak | This story of only 338 words focuses on a young boy named Max who, after dressing in his wolf costume, wreaks such havoc through his household that he is sent to bed without his supper. Max's bedroom undergoes a mysterious transformation into a jungle environment, and he winds up sailing to an island inhabited by malicious beasts known as the "Wild Things." After successfully intimidating the creatures, Max is hailed as the king of the Wild Things and enjoys a playful romp with his subjects; however, he decides to return home, to the Wild Things' dismay. After arriving in his bedroom, Max discovers a hot supper waiting for him.
Storybook: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling | Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second novel in the Harry Potter series, written by J. K. Rowling. The plot follows Harry's second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, during which a series of messages on the walls of the school's corridors warn that the "Chamber of Secrets" has been opened and that the "heir of Slytherin" would kill all pupils who do not come from all-magical families. These threats are followed by attacks which leave residents of the school "petrified" (frozen like stone). Throughout the year, Harry and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger investigate the attacks.
The book was published in the United Kingdom on 2 July 1998 by Bloomsbury and in the United States on 2 June 1999 by Scholastic Inc. Although Rowling found it difficult to finish the book, it won high praise and awards from critics, young readers and the book industry, although some critics thought the story was perhaps too frightening for younger children. Much like with other novels in the series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets triggered religious debates; some religious authorities have condemned its use of magical themes, while others have praised its emphasis on self-sacrifice and on the way in which a person's character is the result of the person's choices.
Catherine Moore was born in San Leandro, California, but spent her formative, and awkward, teenage years amidst the neon lights and desert landscape of Reno, Nevada. In 1998, she returned to the Bay Area to pursue her fine arts degree and graduated from the Academy of Art University in 2004. She worked for several years as a freelance illustrator and graphic artist and began exhibiting her work in 2011. She currently lives with her husband, son, and doggy companion in San Leandro.
Storybook: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling | Harry Potter and the Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series and J. K. Rowling's debut novel. The plot follows Harry Potter, a young wizard who discovers his magical heritage as he makes close friends and a few enemies in his first year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. With the help of his friends, Harry faces an attempted comeback by the dark wizard Lord Voldemort, who killed Harry's parents, but failed to kill Harry when he was just a year old.
Storybook: The Story of Jumping Mouse by John Steptoe | Based on a Native American legend, this is the tale of a compassionate, courageous mouse who journeys to a far-off land and becomes a magnificent soaring eagle. Jumping Mouse is story about a little mouse that must face many obstacles on his journey and sacrifices much to help others in need. In the end, he is richly rewarded for his compassion and spirit.
Hannah Yata: "The pictures forming in my head are ones of domination over nature, the struggle of animals in a changing world, and the effects of a changing world on the animals and humans. Women became the metaphor for mother nature as wild and sexual thing exploited and explored in my work, and animals became the subjects of examining abnormalities and evolution. Taking ideas that I had learned from ideas on feminism, I began to draw parallels in our ways of controlling and objectifying women to how we also think about the earth and its resources therein."
Storybook: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett | TThe Secret Garden is a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was initially published in serial format starting in the autumn of 1910, and was first published in its entirety in 1911. It is now one of Burnett's most popular novels, and is considered to be a classic of English children's literature.
Storybook: Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson | Calvin and Hobbes is set in the contemporary United States in an unspecified suburban area. The strip depicts Calvin's flights of fancy and his friendship with Hobbes. It also examines Calvin's relationships with family and classmates. Hobbes' dual nature is a defining motif for the strip: to Calvin, Hobbes is a live anthropomorphic tiger; all the other characters see him as an inanimate stuffed toy. Though the series does not mention specific political figures or current events, it does explore broad issues like environmentalism, public education, philosophical quandaries, and the flaws of opinion polls
Storybook: The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff | Babar the Elephant is a fictional character who first appeared in the French children's book Histoire de Babar by Jean de Brunhoff in 1931, and enjoyed immediate success. An English-language version, The Story of Babar, introduced by A.A. Milne, appeared in 1933, in Britain and the United States. The book is based on a tale that Brunhoff's wife, Cecile, had invented for their children. It tells of a young elephant Babar who, upon the death of his mother by a hunter, is chased by the hunter. Babar escapes, and in the process leaves the jungle, visits a big city, and returns to bring the benefits of civilization to his fellow elephants. Just as he returns to his community of elephants, their king dies from eating a bad mushroom. Because of his travels and civilization, Babar is appointed king of the elephant kingdom. He marries his cousin, and they subsequently have children and teach them valuable lessons.
Melissa Morgan studied Computer Graphics and Graphic Design at New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, Long Island, NY. Working within the NYC design field for several years, she quickly became frustrated with the lack of creative freedom, long hours and high demand.
As fate would have it - she landed an opportunity as Gallery Director in Soho, NYC. Feeling as though she belonged on the other side of the spectrum she set out to find a place where she could nurture her creative spirit that has driven her entire life.
Subsequently, this landed her in Madrid, New Mexico where she currently resides and actively pursuing art.
Storybook: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein | The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a fantasy novel and children's book by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction. The book remains popular and is recognized as a classic in children's literature.
Set in a time "Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men", The Hobbit follows the quest of home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins to win a share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug. Bilbo's journey takes him from light-hearted, rural surroundings into more sinister territory. The story is told in the form of an episodic quest, and most chapters introduce a specific creature, or type of creature, of Tolkien's Wilderland. By accepting the disreputable, romantic, fey and adventurous sides of his nature and applying his wits and common sense, Bilbo gains a new level of maturity, competence and wisdom. The story reaches its climax in the Battle of the Five Armies, where many of the characters and creatures from earlier chapters re-emerge to engage in conflict.
Personal growth and forms of heroism are central themes of the story. Along with motifs of warfare, these themes have led critics to view Tolkien's own experiences during World War I as instrumental in shaping the story. The author's scholarly knowledge of Germanic philology and interest in fairy tales are often noted as influences.
Encouraged by the book's critical and financial success, the publisher requested a sequel. As Tolkien's work on the successor The Lord of the Rings progressed, he made retrospective accommodations for it in The Hobbit. These few but significant changes were integrated into the second edition. Further editions followed with minor emendations, including those reflecting Tolkien's changing concept of the world into which Bilbo stumbled. The work has never been out of print. Its ongoing legacy encompasses many adaptations for stage, screen, radio, board games and video games. Several of these adaptations have received critical recognition on their own merits.
Los Angeles based artist David Natale spends his hours crafting fantastic visions of nature. Hybrid biology gives shape to a lush world of luminous and foreign creatures. David's paintings examine our relationships with the possibility found in the gaps of what we understand. Science fact and fiction along with David's love of nature provide a fertile landscape for new narratives. His work has been exhibited across the US and internationally.
Storybook: Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault | "Sleeping Beauty" (French: La Belle au bois dormant "The Beauty Sleeping in the Wood") by Charles Perrault or "Little Briar Rose" (German: Dornröschen) by the Brothers Grimm is a classic fairy tale involving a beautiful princess, a sleeping enchantment, and a handsome prince. The version collected by the Grimms was an orally transmitted version of the originally literary tale published by Charles Perrault in Histoires ou contes du temps passé in 1697. This in turn was based on Sun, Moon, and Talia by Giambattista Basile (published posthumously in 1634), which was in turn based on one or more folk tales. The earliest known version of the story is Perceforest, composed between 1330 and 1344 and first printed in 1528.
Joshua Roman is a California Based Fine artist and illustrator.
His distinct colorful works have been shown in galleries around the country. His use of vibrant rainbow lines and shapes as well as playful creatures often contrast the eerie and sometimes sensual subject matter of his pieces. His portraits are unique and original while still capturing the essence of the subject.
Storybook: The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen | "The Little Mermaid" (Danish: Den lille havfrue) is a fairy tale by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince.
Jel Ena is a Serbian born multi-media artist living in her adopted home of Los Angeles. She comes from a family of artists in every field who supported her pursuit of the fine arts. Jel Ena attended the Academy of Fine Art in Belgrade where she received her MFA in painting. She has been showing in galleries around the world where her work is widely collected, as well as freelancing in the movie and video game industry as a designer.
Storybook: The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch | The Paper Bag Princess is a children's book written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko. It was first published on 1 May 1980 by Annick Press. The story reverses the princess and dragon stereotype. As a result, it has won critical acclaim from feminists, including an endorsement from the National Organization for Women, which sells the book on its website.
Storybook: Where's Waldo? by Martin Handford | Where's Waldo? is a series of children's books created by the English illustrator Martin Handford. The books consist of a series of detailed double-page spread illustrations depicting dozens or more people doing a variety of amusing things at a given location. Readers are challenged to find a character named Wally hidden in the group. Waldo's distinctive red-and-white-striped shirt, bobble hat, and glasses make him slightly easier to recognize, but many illustrations contain red herrings involving deceptive use of red-and-white striped objects. Later entries in the long-running book series added other targets for readers to find in each illustration
Daniel J Valadez was born in Santa Clara, California. He grew up in Visalia, central California, where the summers were scorching and the winters left the grass frozen. He made his return years later to the Bay Area. Daniel moved to San Francisco in the spring of 2005 and began studying at the Academy of Art University. After a rigorous three years, in 2008 he received a BFA in Illustration. The years that followed his schooling, Daniel has continuously pursued a career in painting. While currently residing in San Francisco, he continues to show and sell his work all around the world.
Storybook: The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka | The star of the book is Jack of Jack and the Beanstalk, who tells the stories and deals with the rest of the cast. There's a very annoying Little Red Hen comes in to complain about no one helping her make her bread (or do anything.) Chicken Licken believes that the sky is falling, and demands that someone calls the President. Jack introduces Little Red Running Shorts, a counterpart of Little Red Riding Hood, by blurting out the entire story — including the ending — so she refuses to be in it. The Stinky Cheese Man, a counterpart of The Gingerbread Man, is afraid to be near anyone because he thinks they will eat him... though they are really trying to get away from his horrid smell.
Also in the book are "The Princess and the Bowling Ball", "The Other Frog Prince", "The Really Ugly Duckling", "Cinderumplestiltskin" and "The Tortoise and the Hair". In the first, a retelling of The Princess and the Pea, the Prince finally finds a girl he really loves. Sick of his parents rejecting potential wives when they don't feel a pea under one hundred mattresses, he slips his bowling ball under her mattresses when his parents have her over. In "The Other Frog Prince", the princess kisses the frog: he says "I was just kidding," and hops back in the lake. "The Really Ugly Duckling" (a parody of Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Duckling), grows up to be a Really Ugly Duck, rather than a swan. "Cinderumplestiltskin" combines Cinderella and Rumplestiltskin. In "The Tortoise and the Hair", a re-telling of The Tortoise and the Hare, the Hare says he can grow his hair (one on the top of his head) faster than the Tortoise can run. So they race, and race, and race; this story has no ending, the last words of it being "not the end".
The foreword includes a parody of Goldilocks and the Three Bears as an example of a "Fairly Stupid Tale". Also, the table of contents includes the title, "The Boy Who Cried Cow Patty," a story nowhere in the book. The latter story was printed on the back of the dust jacket for the book's tenth anniversary edition (whereas the original edition had the Little Red Hen complaining about buying this book while asking who "this ISBN guy" is and complaining that she's only in three of the pages as a book gag).
Malojo: Comics, cartoons and old monster’s movie posters are my first loves; but I’m also fascinated by classic painters like Bosch, Bruegel or Caravage, they are as important for me as Tex Avery, Walt Disney and Chuck Jones: I love the humor ,sometimes crual, of those cartoons characters as I love the horrible scenes of religious painting. It became on my own painting funny monsters with tortured flesh, cute puppies with bad intentions .
Malojo born in Bayonne, lives and work in Toulouse (France).
Storybook: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster | The Phantom Tollbooth is a children's adventure novel and modern fairy tale by Norton Juster. It was published in 1961 with illustrations by Jules Feiffer. It tells the story of a bored young boy named Milo who unexpectedly receives a magic tollbooth one afternoon and, having nothing better to do, decides to drive through it in his toy car. The tollbooth transports him to a land called the Kingdom of Wisdom. There he acquires two faithful companions, has many adventures, and goes on a quest to rescue the princesses of the kingdom—Princess Rhyme and Princess Reason—from the castle in the air. The text is full of puns, and many events, such as Milo's jump to the Island of Conclusions, exemplify literal meanings of English language idioms.
Storybook: Hansel and Gretel by The Brothers Grimm | "Hansel and Gretel" is a well-known fairy tale of German origin, recorded by the Brothers Grimm and published in 1812. Hansel and Gretel are a young brother and sister threatened by a cannibalistic witch living deep in the forest in a house constructed of cake and confectionery. The two children save their lives by outwitting her.
Marie Larkin is an Australian Pop Surrealist. Her art embodies an undeniably feminine oeuvre, meticulous execution and attention to detail. Works in painting, drawing and sculpture have been inspired by fairytale and nursery rhyme narratives, pop culture, beauty and the feminine persona.. She creates richly coloured, finely detailed, alternate worlds inhabited by beautiful girls, strange and mesmerising, with expressive eyes and dark natures. Most recently, female characters have an undeniable feminine force, strong, empowered and aloof. Her bodies of work continue to mature, gaining greater sophistication of style and consistency throughout.. Paintings and drawings retain her signature women who embue the works with narrative and emotional content.
Marie Larkin has a Bachelor of Art Education and has been a visual artist and art teacher since 1980. She gained national recognition and success in the 1990’s as an embroiderer.
Storybook: Little Bear's Wish by Else Holmelund Minarik | Little Bear is a series of children's books, primarily involving the interaction of Little Bear (a small cub) and Mother Bear (Little Bear's Mother), and the yearning he has for his father who is a ship's captain and absent for long periods. The first book in the series was published in 1957, written by Else Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Initially the stories were simple, but eventually became more sophisticated in subsequent books as the plot and characters expanded.
The first four Little Bear books consist of four stories, each of which involves Little Bear and a slowly expanding cast of support characters, each named after their respective species. The Little Bear character and his immediate family display many bear-like characteristics and mannerisms, but only on occasion. They live in a culture and technology which seems to be the woodland equivalent of a Little House on the Prairie setting, but with richer items. Little Bear is depicted as friendly and adventurous with his animal friends.
My storybook painting is based on Little Bear. I chose to re create the page of little bears adventures out of "Little Bear's Wish", when little bear takes a tunnel to China and brings back chopsticks for mother bear. The Chinese lettering on the hat reads: make a wish
"My childhood was spent in southern and northern California, bouncing around place to place, briefly residing in Vermont and Washington.
Finally, after some 16 different schools, K - 12, I finished school in western New York State. Overall, the experience was both difficult and exciting. After graduating high school in 1989, I enrolled in commercial design classes for a year at a privately owned art school. My training there launched me into the competitive environment of graphic design where I worked for 6 years. At that point, I felt increasingly driven to live a life with more meaning and purpose, and so decided to leap in a new direction, starting a career as a licensed massage therapist. Massage enriched my life.
More than that, it increased my knowledge of the human anatomy and healing. After 8 satisfying years as an LMT, my husband took a job out of state and we re-located. The move spurred another change in direction for me, During the past 4 years, I have redirected my attention to the fine arts. In the past, when I had pursued fine art, my work involved incorporating natural objects. It’s since evolved from depiction of the natural and external world to exploration of the internal landscapes of memory, dream, fantasy. Now I exhibit widely, both nationally and internationally and enjoy a growing fan base, while I continue deepening my skills, developing my style and exploring my favorite mythic themes." ~Lara Dann
Storybook: Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt | Pat the Bunny is a "touch and feel" book for small children and babies and has been a perennial best-seller in the United States since its publication in 1940. It is not a book in the traditional sense, but more a collection of things to do, such as pat the fake fur of a rabbit on one page, feel a bit of sandpaper that stands for "daddy's scratchy face" on another, and look in a mirror on yet another.
It was written by Dorothy Kunhardt, who was a successful children's author when she wrote Pat the Bunny for her 3-year-old daughter, Edith. It was partly an experiment in using interactive elements in a book, which was unusual at the time.
Susanne Apgar’s artistic impulses appear to have been triggered or perhaps galvanised by a simple surrealist coffee-table art book in her childhood home. Amazed and obsessed by the peculiar images like a fur-covered cup and spoon, long legged elephants and outed inner visions, her path was set. Permission granted. Susanne was born in New Jersey and raised in Montreal. After completing a BA she studied Illustration and Design at Dawson College followed by Fine Arts at Concordia University. She generally works in oils and is currently spending time on gallery work as well as freelancing in editorial, advertising and book illustration. Her paintings are exhibited in galleries across Canada, the U.S and Australia. She currently works out of Toronto.
Storybook: The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen |
"I was born in Cherepovets, Russia and grew up in Ukraine, where my family is originally from. From a very early age, I was influenced by passionate, creative individuals. My mother was a fashion designer and my earliest artistic inspirations were her design drawings. My aunt was a musician, she was my first musical inspiration and what sparked my desire to play the piano. My grandmother was a singer, dancer, and a nurse. At age 6, after the divorce of my parents, my mother and I made the move to America, to New York City.
I can’t recall a specific point in my life when I turned to art. My family tells me I’ve been doodling since I learned how hold a pencil, before I could even form full sentences (the walls and some documents quickly fell victim to my creative endeavors), art is just what I’ve always done and who I was. I experimented with landscapes and nature for the first time at the age of 8 with chalk and pencils. I also discovered Bob Ross on TV and found myself with an uncontrollable need to paint. My first painting attempts were mostly scenic views of sunsets, mountains, trees, and snow painted with watercolor and acrylic with the occasional still life. Water made many appearances in the form of oceans, ponds, lakes, often containing reflections and distortions of its surrounding imagery. Perhaps it was an escape into the natural world I missed dearly and lacked in my city environment. Around this time I enrolled in dance school and studied ballet, jazz, and modern. The stage, costumes, music, lights, endless training hours, and entire performer’s atmosphere became a second home to me. Dancing was simply another means of expression and enjoyment, I danced for many years. Into my early teens, I learned about digital art and began creating illustrations of invented characters, places, graphics, as well as drawing comics and spriting a few character props for a small MMORPG. During this time I turned to music. With the help of the internet, a brand new keyboard, and a thirst for making beautiful sound out of silence, I began teaching myself how to play the piano.
Throughout my life, painting was something I never stopped doing. Regardless of what happened, I was always led right back to the materials, slaving to the unfolding puzzle in front of me. It’s an almost meditative process that fills me with life and happiness, and I couldn’t go for long periods without it. The more I painted, the more I wanted to paint, it was painful not to. Sharing my work kept me motivated, so I started making youtube videos in 2010 because I always enjoyed the community and wanted to contribute something of my own. I documented the progression of my works in time lapses, the earliest of which were charcoal portraits and the occasional goofing off on camera (which hasn’t really stopped). In some videos, the soundtrack to my time lapses features my own music. Over time, my channel grew exponentially in subscribers and views and continues to expand daily. I’ve collaborated with some talented individuals and attended several gatherings where I’ve had the pleasure of meeting my subscribers. Through social networks, my paintings were selling and I found myself overwhelmed with commissions. Social media has connected me to a strong network of artists and art collectors.
I’ve met some incredibly talented people thanks to the youtube community and my channel has grown to over 100,000 subscribers. I’m thankful for every viewer and experience it has brought me to. I love communicating with my audience and getting to see their angle on art and my work. It makes me so incredibly happy when I am told that I inspired someone with my work, and motivates me to keep challenging myself to reach new heights. I believe that every creator has their own path and way of doing things, one that is unique to them, and that path can be discovered with hard work and dedication. It’s an endless journey in which there is always room to improve. For me, I learn best by experimentation and exploring on my own and have never taken a painting class. That is what makes it so exciting for me, just letting the paint take you somewhere interesting. I am constantly learning and doing my best to grow." ~Lena Danya
Storybook: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain | Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Commonly named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written throughout in vernacular English, characterized by local color regionalism. It is told in the first person by Huckleberry "Huck" Finn, a friend of Tom Sawyer and narrator of two other Twain novels. It is a direct sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
The book is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River. Set in a Southern antebellum society that had ceased to exist about twenty years before the work was published, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an often scathing satire on entrenched attitudes, particularly racism.
Storybook: The Haunted Mask by R.L. Stine | The Haunted Mask is the eleventh book in Goosebumps, the series of children's horror fiction novellas created and authored by R. L. Stine. The book follows Carly Beth, a girl who buys a Halloween mask from a store. After putting on the mask, she starts acting differently and discovers that the mask has become her face; she is unable to pull the mask off. R. L. Stine says he got the idea for the book from his son who had on a mask that he had trouble getting off.
Storybook: If You Give A Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff | The book is known for its playful, circular pattern. A boy gives a cookie to a mouse. The mouse asks for a glass of milk. He then requests a straw (to drink the milk), a mirror (to avoid a milk mustache), nail scissors (to trim his hair in the mirror), and a broom (to sweep up his hair trimmings). Next he wants to take a nap, to have a story read to him, to draw a picture, and to hang the drawing on the refrigerator. Looking at the refrigerator makes him thirsty, so the mouse asks for a glass of milk. The circle is complete when he wants a cookie to go with it.
With every letter crafted there is a story being told, and with only 26 of them to augment it takes a deft hand and a designer mind to make them distinct. Born in 1978 in Antioch, California, Marcos LaFarga has been developing his true west design aesthetic right in the epicenter of California creativity. His pedigree is one that runs from the wall and the freight, to a BFA in 2006 from California College of the Arts. It is this diverse background that provides him with the depth to move and merge between otherwise separate visual languages. Marcos focuses his artistry on the intersection of three fundamentals of visual expression, graphic design, typography, and photo realistic renderings, all three which he seamlessly melds to create a united reflection of our contemporary life. With an abundant sense of color value and contrast, a sublime sense of humor, and a sensitivity for the balance our eyes naturally seek; Marcos is creating honest work that effortlessly represents contemporary design and composition. Marcos is always actively seeking that next unique challenge.
Profile by: Jeben Berg
Storybook: The Three Little Pigs by James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps | The Three Little Pigs is a fable/fairy tale featuring anthropomorphic pigs who build three houses of different materials. A big bad wolf is able to blow down the first two pigs' houses, made of straw and sticks respectively, but is unable to destroy the third pig's house, made of bricks. Printed versions date back to the 1840s, but the story itself is thought to be much older. (The story bears an at least superficial resemblance to "The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids," a German folktale collected as the fifth tale in Grimms' Fairy Tales in 1812.) The phrases used in the story, and the various morals that can be drawn from it, have become embedded in Western culture.
Storybook: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister | The story tells of a fish with shiny, multi-colored scales named Rainbow Fish. He is always fond of his scales. But one day, a small fish asks him if he could have one. Rainbow Fish refuses in a very rude way. The other fish are really upset about his behavior and don't want to play with him anymore.
Feeling upset, his only friend left, the starfish, tells him to go visit the mysterious octopus for advice. Rainbow Fish finds the octopus and asks what he should do. The octopus tells him that he must share the beauty of his scales with his friends.
When he encounters the small fish a second time, the Rainbow Fish gives him one of his precious scales and, seeing the joy of this little fish, feels immediately much better. Very soon Rainbow Fish is surrounded by other fish requesting scales and he gives to each of them one of his shiny scales.
The bastard son of 1000 maniacs, Robert Bowen is a San Francisco based artist who watched entirely too much t.v. as a kid. A connoisseur of bad habits and collector of all things wrong, this “artist” feels it is his duty to bombard you with whatever inane and juvenile imagery falls from his hand. Hell bent on world domination, he pauses only occasionally for Mexican food and Lindsay Lohan movies.
A visual artist living and working in San Francisco, Robert Bowen has been exhibiting his artwork throughout the US for over ten years. Bowen got his start through graffiti and street art, and went on to attend art school and obtain a classical education as a painter.
Robert Bowen’s work is a strange, swirling brew of colorful contradiction that is not easy to define or even understand, but that seems quite the point. Throughout his body of work, Bowen takes familiar iconography and handily corkscrews it with his own unique brand of humor and distinct painting style. Bowen’s ability to reappropriate contradictory symbols into unsettling situations puts him in league with greats like Ron English, and Andy Warhol. He continues to walk the line between charming humor and blasphemous sarcasm with symbolic imagery that leaves the viewer both curious and confused. -Stacey Ransom
Storybook: Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson | The protagonist, Harold, is a curious four-year-old boy who, with his purple crayon, has the power to create a world of his own simply by drawing it.
Harold wants to go for a walk in the moonlight, but there is no moon, so he draws one. He has nowhere to walk, so he draws a path. He has many adventures looking for his room, and in the end he draws his own house and bed and goes to sleep.
"My work is focused around experimenting with recreating the aged, decayed, layered surfaces around me. I believe that these aged surfaces tell a story and that they are a raw reflection of their environment—the aging is not premeditated.
To someone a wall or a train means nothing, but to me it represents an untold, and unappreciated story. The layers of textures, typography, colors, graffiti, and decay, have all been applied and manipulated in some form by humans, nature, time, and the environment. This random orchestration fascinates me.
By painting my own representations of these surfaces, I form a connection to it and I am paying homage to it as if it is a wise elder. These surfaces have emotions and stories to tell and I feel they are revealed if you are willing to look past the “ugliness” of them.
I also see myself as an aging wall and I take the techniques I have learned from reinterpreting the look of decayed surfaces and create my own walls that represent my own experiences. This duel approach to creating my artwork continuously evolves over time as I grow and change and as my environment changes and ages around me.
The mediums I use to create my paintings are acrylic, oils, pumice, joint compound, paper, posters, spray paint, stencils and whatever else I can get my hands on. The process is layers on top of layers until the suyrfaces take on a life of their own." ~Steve Javiel
Storybook: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll | Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as with children. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre. Its narrative course and structure, characters and imagery have been enormously influential in both popular culture and literature, especially in the fantasy genre.
Storybook: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling | The tales in the book are fables, using animals in an anthropomorphic manner to give moral lessons. The verses of The Law of the Jungle, for example, lay down rules for the safety of individuals, families and communities. Kipling put in them nearly everything he knew or "heard or dreamed about the Indian jungle." Other readers have interpreted the work as allegories of the politics and society of the time. The best-known of them are the three stories revolving around the adventures of an abandoned "man cub" Mowgli who is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle. The most famous of the other stories are probably "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi", the story of a heroic mongoose, and "Toomai of the Elephants", the tale of a young elephant-handler. As with much of Kipling's work, each of the stories is preceded by a piece of verse, and succeeded by another.
The Jungle Book, because of its moral tone, came to be used as a motivational book by the Cub Scouts, a junior element of the Scouting movement. This use of the book's universe was approved by Kipling after a direct petition of Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Scouting movement, who had originally asked for the author's permission for the use of the Memory Game from Kim in his scheme to develop the morale and fitness of working-class youths in cities. Akela, the head wolf in The Jungle Book, has become a senior figure in the movement, the name being traditionally adopted by the leader of each Cub Scout pack.
Helice Wen was born in Shenzhen, China where her interest in art began at the age of 5 when she first started copying children’s book illustrations. After graduating from the Academy of Art University San Francisco in 2009, she began working as a children’s book illustrator. After leaving her illustration job a few years ago, Wen is now focused on creating gallery works. She has exhibited in New York, Florida, Melbourne, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. She currently resides in San Francisco, working as a full time artist.
Storybook: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl | The story features the adventures of young Charlie Bucket inside the chocolate factory of eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was first published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. in 1964 and in the United Kingdom by George Allen & Unwin in 1967. The book was adapted into two major motion pictures: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in 1971, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 2005. The book's sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, was written by Roald Dahl in 1972. Dahl had also planned to write a third book in the series but never finished it.
The story was originally inspired by Roald Dahl's experience of chocolate companies during his schooldays. Cadbury would often send test packages to the schoolchildren in exchange for their opinions on the new products. At that time (around the 1920s), Cadbury and Rowntree's were England's two largest chocolate makers and they each often tried to steal trade secrets by sending spies, posing as employees, into the other's factory. Because of this, both companies became highly protective of their chocolate-making processes. It was a combination of this secrecy and the elaborate, often gigantic, machines in the factory that inspired Dahl to write the story.
Storybook: Matilda by Roald Dahl | Protagonist Matilda is a young girl of unusual precocity, but often ill-treated by her father or neglected by her mother. In retaliation, she pulls pranks such as gluing her father's hat to his head, hiding a friend's parrot in the chimney to simulate a burglar or ghost, and secretly bleaching her father's hair.
At school, Matilda befriends her teacher, Miss Jennifer Honey, who was astonished by Matilda's intellectual abilities. She tries to move her into a higher class, but is refused by her headmistress Miss Agatha Trunchbull. Miss Honey also tries to talk to Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood about Matilda's supreme intelligence, but makes no impression. Matilda quickly develops a particularly strong bond with Miss Honey.
When Matilda's friend Lavender plays a practical joke on Miss Trunchbull by placing a newt in her jug of water, Matilda uses an unexpected power of telekinesis to tip the glass of water containing the newt onto Miss Trunchbull.
Miss Honey reveals that she was raised in part by a hostile aunt, identified as Miss Trunchbull, who appears (among other misdeeds) to withhold her niece's inheritance. In preparation to avenge the latter, Matilda develops her telekinetic gift through practice at home. Later, during a lesson that Miss Trunchbull is teaching, Matilda telekinetically raises a piece of chalk against the blackboard and, in the resulting writings, poses as the spirit of Miss Honey's late father, demanding that Miss Trunchbull concede Miss Honey's house and wages and leave the region forever.
This is soon accomplished, and with the approval of the school's capable and good-natured new Headteacher, Mr Trilby, Matilda herself advances to the highest level of schooling. Rather to her relief, she is no longer capable of telekinesis; this explained by Miss Honey as the result of using her mind in a more-challenging curriculum.
Matilda continues to visit Miss Honey at her house regularly, but one day she finds her parents hastily packing to escape from the police who have incriminated her father for selling stolen automobiles. Matilda asks permission to live with Miss Honey, to which her parents rather uninterestedly agree, and so both she and Miss Honey find their happy ending.
Storybook: The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams | A stuffed rabbit sewn from velveteen is given as a Christmas present to a small boy. The boy plays with his other new presents and forgets the velveteen rabbit for a time. These presents are modern and mechanical, and snub the old-fashioned velveteen rabbit. The wisest and oldest toy in the nursery, the Skin Horse, who was owned by the boy's uncle, tells the rabbit about toys magically becoming Real due to love from children. The rabbit is awed by this concept; however, his chances of achieving this wish are slight.
One night the boy's Nana gives the rabbit to the boy to sleep with, in place of a lost toy. The rabbit becomes the boy's favourite toy, enjoying picnics with him in the spring, and the boy regards the rabbit as 'REAL'. Time passes, and the rabbit becomes shabbier, but happy. He meets some real rabbits in the summer, and they learn that he cannot hop as they do, and say that he is not real.
One day, the boy becomes sick with scarlet fever, and the rabbit sits with him as he recovers. The doctor orders that the boy should be taken to the seaside, and that his room should be disinfected, and all his books and toys burnt - including the velveteen rabbit. The rabbit is bundled into a sack and left out in the garden overnight, where he sadly reflects on his life with his boy. The toy rabbit cries and a real tear drops onto the ground, and a marvellous flower appears. A fairy steps out of the flower and comforts the velveteen rabbit, introducing herself as the nursery magic fairy. She says that because he is old and shabby and Real, she will take him away with her and "turn [him] into Real" - to everyone.
The fairy takes the rabbit to the forest, where she meets the other rabbits and gives the velveteen rabbit a kiss. The velveteen rabbit changes into a real rabbit, and joins the other rabbits in the forest. The next spring, the rabbit returns to look at the boy, and the boy sees a resemblance to his old velveteen rabbit.
Storybook: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum | The story chronicles the adventures of a young girl named Dorothy Gale in the Land of Oz, after being swept away from her Kansas farm home in a cyclone.[nb 1] The novel is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture and has been widely translated. Its initial success, and the success of the 1902 Broadway musical which Baum adapted from his original story, led to Baum's writing thirteen additional Oz books.
Storybook: Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish | Amelia Bedelia is the protagonist and title character of a series of American children's books written by Peggy Parish until her death in 1988, and by her nephew Herman Parish beginning in 1995. The books have been illustrated by Wallace Tripp, Fritz Siebel, and the two current illustrators, Lynn Sweat and Lynne Avril. The stories involve Amelia repeatedly misunderstanding various commands of her employer by always taking figures of speech and various terminology literally, causing her to perform incorrect actions with a comical effect. Part of her insight into literalism is that she comes from a family who takes everything literally: their method of ridding their house of dust is to "undust the furniture." However, she almost always manages to win everyone over at the end of the book by baking a delicious pie or cake. Much of her employment is as a maid for a wealthy couple known as the Rogers, who are astute enough to realize her literalism and write their requests as "undust the furniture" and "put the wet towels in the laundry and replace them with clean dry towels," as opposed to simply "change the towels."
Storybook: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein | The book follows the life of a female [apple] tree and a boy who are able to communicate with each other; the tree addresses the human as "Boy" his entire life. In his childhood, the boy enjoys playing with the tree, climbing her trunk, swinging from her branches, and eating her apples. However, as time passes he starts to make requests of the tree.
After entering adolescence, the boy wants money; the tree suggests that he pick and sell her apples, which he does. After reaching adulthood, the boy wants a house; the tree suggests he cut her branches to build a house, which he does. After reaching middle age, the boy wants a boat; the tree suggests he cut her trunk to make a boat, which he does, leaving only a stump. Each such stage of giving by the tree ends with the sentence "And the tree was happy."
In the final pages, the boy (now a shriveled old man) meets the tree once more. The tree sadly states she has nothing left to give, as her apples, branches, and trunk are gone and only a stump remains. But the boy wants only "a quiet place to sit and rest," which the stump can provide. This final stage of giving, and the entire story, end with the sentence "And the tree was happy."
Storybook: In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz | The Green Ribbon is a part of In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories which is a collection of horror stories retold for children by Alvin Schwartz. It was published as part of the I Can Read! series in 1984.
Aunia Kahn is figurative artist, photographer, creative entrepreneur and inspirational speaker. She’s has created a hybrid art form combining many disciplines which she invariably designs, builds, and executes characters, non-existent places, dreams, illusions, fears and fables into creations melding elements of classical and contemporary art. Her art is often compared to movie-like stills hiding away long stories within their visuals. Garnered several awards, having been featured in numerous publications, and represented and collected nationally and internationally, along with being a published author has provided her a platform to guest lectures at colleges and universities.
Project driven with a community interest prompted Aunia to pursue curating several exhibitions and book projects, such as the Tarot Under Oath Project [Last Rites Gallery], The Moon Goddess Exhibition [Modern Eden Gallery], Lowbrow Tarot Project [La Luz de Jesus] which later inspired her to open the Alexi Era Gallery. Her personal publishing projects include the Silver Era Tarot, Inspirations for Survivors, Obvious Remote Chaos, Minding the Sea: Inviting the Muses Over for Tea and her forthcoming book Avalanche of White Reason and deck Muse Tarot. With the completion of several publishing projects, her love for art and books inspired the launch of Lokreign Publishing, specializing in art book collections ranging from traditional, new and cutting edge mediums to select high-end limited editions. Aunia also runs/hosts the Create & Inspire Blog & Podcast where she helps and inspires creatives to follow their dreams!
Storybook: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry | The Little Prince is a poetic tale, with watercolour illustrations by the author, in which a pilot stranded in the desert meets a young prince fallen to Earth from a tiny asteroid. The story is philosophical and includes social criticism, remarking on the strangeness of the adult world. It was written during a period when Saint-Exupéry fled to North America subsequent to the Fall of France during the Second World War, witnessed first hand by the author and captured in his memoir Flight to Arras. The adult fable, according to one review, is actually "...an allegory of Saint-Exupéry's own life—his search for childhood certainties and interior peace, his mysticism, his belief in human courage and brotherhood.... but also an allusion to the tortured nature of their relationship."
Though ostensibly styled as a children's book, The Little Prince makes several observations about life and human nature. For example, Saint-Exupéry tells of a fox meeting the young prince during his travels on Earth. The story's essence is contained in the lines uttered by the fox to the little prince: On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. ("One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes.")Other key thematic messages are articulated by the fox, such as: Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé. ("You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.") and C'est le temps que tu as perdu pour ta rose qui fait ta rose si importante. ("It is the time you have lost for your rose that makes your rose so important.") The fox's messages are arguably the book's most famous quotations because they deal with human relationships.
Ania Tomicka was born in 1985 in Lodz, Poland.
When she was only 9 she moved to Italy, where she started to draw seriously: manga at first and realistic things afterwards. She attended an art institute and graduated in 2004. During the school years she starts to paint with oil colors, a technique that soon to became her favorite. Hence she attended the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice where she found a lot of inspiration for her realistic and academic art. A year later she moved to Tuscany where she graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence. She focused her interest in more things like digital art, illustration and new materials such as wood.
She also completed her studies at the academy of digital arts NEMO NT where she gained the title of student of the year.
Ania has always been interested in realistic, renaissance works. Her first loves are Salvador Dalì and Wojtek Siudmak's big canvases, full of absurd and strange creations, painted in a divine way.
Her current paintings are inspired by the American Pop Surrealist movement.
Storybook: Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie | Peter and Wendy is J. M. Barrie's most famous work, in the form of a 1904 play and a 1911 novel. Both versions tell the story of Peter Pan, a mischievous little boy who can fly, and his adventures on the island of Neverland with Wendy Darling and her brothers, the fairy Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys, and the pirate Captain Hook. The play and novel were inspired by Barrie's friendship with the Llewelyn Davies family.
Simona Candini was born in Bologna, Italy where she graduated at the Academy Of Fine Arts University.
During her years studying at the Academy she had the opportunity to exhibit her artwork at many art shows.
Simona spent four years across USA where she started offering her original paintings to collectors from all over the world directly through her online shops and art galleries.
Since 2010 Simona is working as a full time artist primarily within the pop surreal genre.
Her works embody a beautiful yet sometimes dark world inhabited by big eyed girls and improbable creatures. With a stirring of emotions translated onto each new work of art, Simona brings her love of the old fairytales and childhood imaginings to us in a unique and poetic way. She is a traditional artist and enjoys using acrylics, oils, watercolor, graphite and pencils.