Getting Ready for a New Year

I am not very good about throwing things out. My work surface becomes smaller and smaller as test models and scrap paper pile up. After twenty-four advent posts, making trial models and then final models for photographing, my usable work surface had been reduced to about 400 square centimeters (about 62 square inches). This week I started filing and throwing out, and I can now see a significantly larger part of the work surface.

I probably should throw out even more stuff, but this will do for now.

I also got something nice in the mail this week. My copy of Struwwelpeter arrived.

Here’s some information from Marianne Petit’s Kickstarter page:

I’m an artist who makes things: pop-up books, animations, things for the internet, things with electronics, and more. Several years ago, I decided to make a series of handmade editioned books (accordion, pop-up, carousel, tunnel, and more) based on Heinrich Hoffman’s “Der Struwwelpeter.” The children in this classic storybook collection encounter such disastrous consequences for their misbehavior, I was completely inspired!
My books have been exhibited internationally and can be found in museum, library, and personal collections all over the world. This is wonderful. (Thank you, Maddy Rosenberg and CENTRAL BOOKING!) That said, I realized that most of my friends can rarely see, much less own, the books themselves, because handmade books are so labor intensive, are in limited editions, and exhibited in very specific venues.

In 1845 Heinrich Hoffman created Der Struwwelpeter for his son in response to what he perceived to be a lack of good children’s books. The book became widely popular among children and adults.
The ten stories include: Shockheaded Peter (lack of personal grooming leads to unpopularity); The Story of Cruel Frederick (if you are a bully, someone will bite back); The Story of Little Suck-A-Thumb (if you suck your thumb, the evil tailor will jump through the window and chop it off);  The Story of Augustus Who Would Not Eat His Soup (if you don’t eat what you are given, you will starve to death and die); The Story of the Inky Boys (a tale of racism that has been adapted for this 21st century retelling); The Story of Pauline and the Matches (if you play with fire you will burn to death); The Story of the Man Who Went Out Hunting (if you go out hunting, the animals will fight back); The Story of Fidgety Phillip (if you don’t still at the table, terrible accidents occur); The Story of Johny Head in the Air (if you don’t watch where you are going, accidents  will occur); and The Story of Flying Robert (if you go out in the rain, the wind will pick you up and carry you away forever.)

I have decided to make and self-publish a single-volume collection containing all 10 stories so that everyone can have their own copy!

I owned an English translation of Struwwelpeter as a child and loved the stories of horrible things happening to naughty children. (My attraction to stories of gruesome consequences also explains why I love the works of Edward Gorey.) How could I resist a pop-up version of a childhood favourite?! I signed up on March 28th of this year.

Marianne Petit was good at keeping her subscribers informed about progress, and her email updates almost always included pictures. Here are a few.

Top: Inside front cover                                                                                                                Bottom: Shockheaded Peter

Factory Sample White Book

Top: Augustus (This story gave me a nightmare at age eight after I accidentally ate a bit of string from the Sunday roast.)                                                                                                   Bottom: Little Suck-a Thumb

Top: Pauline                                                                                                                                 Bottom: The Hunter

I am delighted with the book, which even came with a bonus: an accordion version of The Story of Cruel Frederick.

This is the fourth book I have helped to fund on Kickstarter. All have been delivered and were as wonderful as promised. I have signed up for a few others that did not reach the funding goal, but I have never backed something that didn’t reach completion. Perhaps I have just been lucky, but it certainly has been fun helping other people’s dreams come to fruition.


About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
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