This year marks the 75th anniversary of Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown. In celebration, we interviewed one of the most beloved illustrators in Children’s books today, Mr. Christian Robinson.

His work reaches a wide audience with its beauty and remarkable way of touching the heart of childhood. Christian has a thoughtful and wonderful body of work in children’s literature including illustrated works like “Harlem’s Little Blackbird”,  “Josephine” and shop favorite “The Smallest Girl In The Smallest Grade”.

K: The Dead Bird was originally published in 1938 and addresses a difficult subject. Your approach was poetic and elegant. How were you introduced to this book?

C: The book came through my agent. I had never heard of Margaret Wise Brown and so it was fresh and I connected with it. I wanted to make it bright and light-hearted, although it touches the subject of death, it is just as much about the celebration of a life.

K: Did you learn anything new or interesting about M.W.B. that you didn’t know before?

C: I did a read a few bio’s about her online. One had mentioned that she grew up on a farm with lots of animals. She had lots of pets including rabbits, squirrels, and dogs. I read that her pet rabbit died and she skinned it, she was familiar with death.

K: I love the little boy dressed in a costume, what was the inspiration for him?

C: The book isn’t about the children as characters, but I wanted to give them depth. Children love wearing costumes and it was a way to express individuality. The boy dressed as a fox was inspired by a Jewish painter named Ben Shahn.

K: You continue to inspire us all with your incredible art and thoughtful choices in work. What is inspiring you right now?

C: I draw from everything really, even things I see on the news. If it’s really sad, I feel like I carry all those things into my art. Recently my boyfriend gifted me an instant camera and it’s been interesting to see the world that way, to tell stories through light and film.

K: Is there a future or current project you are excited about working on?

C: I am really excited about “It’s My Birthday” with Julie Fogliano out this Fall. Sitting on my desk right now is another book with Mat Dela Peña.

K: I work with many young aspiring artists. If you could tell your younger self anything about learning to be an illustrator, what would it be?

C: Sometimes parents want to know how to get their kids to be creative, I think it’s a hard balance of encouraging but not over praising. You want to make sure to notice and encourage the shy kids, the ones covering their art with their hands. You want to make sure that the encouragement is constructive, and not just complementary. You don’t want the art to be made for the anticipation of receiving compliments but for the pleasure.

K: Thank you so much for taking the time to share with me.

See more of Christian here and here

Drop In Class this week (May 8-13) is inspired by The Run Away Bunny” and watch for a Christain Robinson title inspired class coming soon!

 

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Mother’s Day is around the corner, and we’ve got a wonderful project for you to make for Mom, Grandma, and just about everyone else you love.

We’ve teamed up with our friends at The Soap Dispensary for a soap making + packaging project.

Step 1. Come the shop + make your wrapping + card for your soap collection. We’ll give you a coupon for the Soap Dispensary where you can grab all your supplies to make soap at home. You’ll leave here with packaging for all your soap + some gift cards too.

Step 2. : Go to the Soap Dispensary and grab the supplies to make soap at home (it’s so easy! We’ve got the instructions for you here in this post!)

This is a great project to do with kids 5 yrs old and up. Make a series of soap bars (pictured below) all presented in pretty wrap +  a matching card. Grandma is going to LOVE this…

Our kit includes everything you need wrap each bar of soap and make a card to match.

Included in the kit is a coupon for The Soap Dispensary where you can pick up your blocks of soap, and essential oils to make at home. You can follow the instructions here.

Supplies needed:

block of hand pour soap

essential oil in your favourite scent

dried flowers (optional)

soap mold or empty milk carton

 

Cut your soap block into smaller pieces and place in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and check them, then microwave for another 30 seconds. Once the soap is melted add a few drops of the oils into the bowl and pour into your milk carton. The soap sets pretty quickly. Make sure it has completely cooled before you slice it up. You can get anywhere from 5 to 7 bars of soap.

Once to soap is cut you can use your paper and twine to wrap up the bars.  A perfect handmade gift.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Local author Bree Galbraith has released her second picture book, “Milo and Georgie” illustrated by fellow Canadian Josée Bisaillon and published by Owl Kids Books. You can pre-buy a copy of the book today + pick it up instore at our launch on April 22nd.

Milo and Georgie is a sweet story about two children adapting to change. Their single mother gets a new job in a different city; Milo the older brother, isn’t happy about this at all and decides to give up on having fun all together. Georgie his little sister, wants to get out and explore but Milo has confined himself indoors with the babysitter’s sour lemonade. The tale follows the siblings in their opposite reactions to change, with a happy resolution in the end.

 

Bisaillon’s water colour and collage illustrations cheerfully lead us through a beautiful city as the text helps us navigate through reluctant feelings and adapting to change. Did I mention that there is also gelato?

On April 22  from 12- 2 pm you can join us as we create a city of our own with Bree herself. Of course there will also be frozen treats!  Order your advanced copy and have it signed by Bree, click here for more your book + ticket.

 

 

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Happy Family Day from Collage Collage.

Drop by the shop and join us for open studio by drawing some portraits of each other or pick up a set of family wooden doll kits and make something great together.

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This week are featuring A Family Is A Family Is A Family written by Sara O’leary and illustrated by Qin Leng. A book that reminds us that there are many family dynamics in homes today. Moms and Dads that had kids before they met each other, Moms and Moms, Dads and Dads, Grandmas to Foster Care – all the families are here tucked in the pages of this sweet book. A beautiful way to celebrate families.

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We will have this book and some wooden doll kits at the shop and you can join us this week for Drop In Classes where our project will be based on this book.

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” A book is a gift you can open again and again” and over at Collage Collage you can find some great ones.

A great book will encourage a life long love of reading. Adding a little gift or making a little piece of art can connect the reader even deeper to that book and will stay with the recipient for a long time. Drop in and find some last minute treasures for the young and young at heart. I put together a few beautiful things for those last minute shoppers.

 

 

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We Sang You Home and Little You written by Richard Van Camp and illustrated by a local, Julie Flett make a great gift for a new baby or a family welcoming a new little one. These adorable little moccasins are handmade right here in Vancouver by Becky Brisco of Little Edie, the sweetest way to keep those little feet warm.

 

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This set is one of my personal favourites: felt mask making kit with This Is Sadie written by Sara O’Leary and Illustrated by our beloved local favourite Julie Morstad. A gift and book that is sure to ignite the imagination.

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Bears Winter Party written by Deborah Hodge and illustrated by our very own Lisa Cinar of Draw Me A Lion, both these ladies reside right here in Vancouver. I gifted this beautiful winter tale to my son along with the sweetest little bear necklace from Cora + Cloud.

There is so much more to choose from so please drop in and take a look around, that Santa guy will totally approve.

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(Left to right clockwise)

My Wild Family by Laurent Moreau

The Lost Gift by Kallie George

Mix It Up By Herve Tullet and Illustoria feat Herve Tullet

Sleep Tight Farm: A farm prepares for winter by Eugenie Doyle

Happiest Holidays!

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