Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Meandering Books

I wanted to make a note regarding "simple" books that do not always require a "model" or days of envisioning the final outcome. My son was visiting in the early fall and while cleaning my shed, he came upon a mother mouse and her four babies. Because we are such ridiculous people, it turned into a story....one that I knew Jack would enjoy when he got a bit older. (After all, I would say that Granma and Uncle Alex are two of his favorite people).

I finished a volunteer project this past week making 60 books with the classroom teacher at a local charter school, and as an afterthought, I sent him an email and said, "If there is one book you must have to learn basic structures, ask Santa for Shereen Laplantz' Cover to Cover." It is a must for everyone interested in making books. In that book, you will find a variety of quick and easy "booklets" that she refers to as "flutter books." As much as I love her work, I have never been able to call these wonderful little structures flutter books! Somewhere in my travels, I picked up the term, "meandering" books....and they do indeed. They meander as you fold, as you cut, and as you refold, and as you view them again and again.

Needless to say, there is a connection between my son, mice, and meandering books! (You were worried, weren't you?) I intended to get the mouse story down much sooner than now, and with the holiday approaching, it seemed like the perfect gift for my son....who can then become The Keeper of Family Stories for little Jack (a very important job indeed).

First, I drew the mice in a loose and quick contour; I splashed some watercolors on it, and let it dry. Second, I folded it, unfolded it, and cut the "T." And third, I refolded into its final form and wrote out the story (I didn't even pre-plan the text layout...I simply wrote it out with a song and a prayer). Lastly, I glued on two cover boards (cereal boxes covered with handmade paper that looks like chewed up wood.....yes, staying in touch with the mouse content), and added a ribbon for a closure.

That was all it took. Fast and easy. AND....because I made sure the covers were the same exact size as the booklet, it can be unfolded completely (see photo) to reveal the original drawing. Meandering Books. Flutter Books. You choose.

Play and have FUN.


  1. I LOVE this!! What a great idea. Thanks.
    I have that book. You are right; it's a great book. I've had so much going on, I haven't worked much with it, but it's one of the first things on my 'list'. Oh, if only I could be two women!

    Happy Holidays to you and your son!
    (plus, he's a hottie)