May 7th, 2011
The Lascaux caves used to define prehistoric—you just couldn’t get any older than that. Then in the early nineties the Chauvet caves were discovered, also in France, and turned out to have paintings that were about twice as old. Fortunately audiences of Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams don’t have to switch off their cell phones, put on 3-D glasses and begin to grasp what a leap of sixteen thousand years might mean to enjoy the movie— there is so much else to wonder at. Besides so little changed during all that time. On the cathedral-like walls of Chauvet as at Lascaux we inhabit certain animals as though we become then, rarely glimpsing any mundane details of life like actual people or plants or even planets. These fevered escapist dramas, (some scholars believe drug-fueled) often star hybrid creatures. At Chauvet for example there’s a lion with a man’s feet, at Lascaux a man has the head of a bird.
In later civilizations these half and half creatures went on to populate nearly every myth and fairy tale. They became the Disney cartoon characters, the Hindu gods, the angels of the Catholic church, and the monsters lurking in the depths of the ocean that people stubbornly insisted they had seen. So it should come as no surprise that the earliest people, when they had a choice, chose hybrid creatures to stare at. After all, as the French like to say,
the more things change the more they stay the same.
April 17th, 2011
April 7th, 2011
Thank you Ms Knowlton for this most lovely note:
I just wanted to let you know that my daughter and I are big fans of your books. I run a book club for girls and we have read both Cinderella and Thumbelina. They are so smartly written and “girl power” – such gems! Thank you, and please – write more!
You make me feel like the definition of Cinderella which turns out to be:
• [as n. ] a person or thing of unrecognized or disregarded merit or beauty.
January 22nd, 2011
Well because she owns this piece of art under which she is languishing in the comfort of her own home. Jenny Douglas first saw the piece at my exhibit at THE OLD STONE HOUSE . My second exhibit PRIMORDIAL HYBRIDS, at the same OLD STONE HOUSE (located in Park Slope Brooklyn, right near the happening intersection of Fifth Avenue and Third Street) opens April 22nd
Come back soon for details about the PARTY ON JUNE 7th. Whoopee
November 9th, 2010
if you want to know one reason why it is very rewarding to write books for children (especially ones that are old enough to write), just one. It is letters that end like this.
I read a good book called ” The Secret Garden” but it was not as good as yours.
aaaah. Thank you smart girl from outside of Chicago whose name starts with a P!
May 10th, 2010
A little story told with silhouettes especially for you
April 8th, 2010
I have been wondering for a while why nobody else seems to think that reading books on an iphone is the greatest thing since the invention of the french fry. The rest of you do not appear to be engrossed in Anna Karenina as you sit on the subway—or perusing free samples of randomly enticing Amazon books. Or trolling through art at the Louvre for gosh sakes, (oops, now my A.D.D. is showing.) I can’t figure it out for the life of me.
Kindle is a free app. The phone is on your person. Reading is so much fun. What’s not to like? Apparently a lot: My friends are stuck on liking the heft of real books (horses and carts were nice too) or reading “real” kindles with the lighting all perfect. There is actually grousing on the web about an iphone being hard to hold for long periods of time? huh? It rests beautifully on the belly while lying down. Are the rest of you that organized that you can pull out the paperback novel to just the right page for that moment after the dentist gave the injection and before the mouth gets numb enough for the drilling to begin? Well I’m not. But if we have got to this stage of minutia it’s not really even worth discussing. I heart reading on my iphone. You don’t.
Well leave it to the reading-on-the-iPhone habit itself to come up with a possible answer to why this may be so. According to this morsel on The Guardian, a UK paper
Dyslexics like me do well reading on iPhones. Okay it is a little anecdotal. Okay the article is specifically about dyslexia and I lean more in the A.D.D. direction, but hey, where dyslexics go can A.D.D ers be far behind? (You are allowed to make jokes about these things when you have them.) Maybe there is something here.
See if it helps your dyslexic friends and family members. Bring on the scientific studies! This discovery could save the world!
NOW FOR THE COMMERCIAL SEGMENT OF OUR PROGRAM: why not start with my books?!: Thumbelina (Tiny Runaway Bride) and Cinderella (As If You Didn’t Already Know the Story) are available on kindle for the low low price of $9.99. (The latter book isn’t actually available yet, but they will happily take your payment and send it to your device of choice in a few months.) Behold how cutely the illustrations jostle with the text on an iphone! Ideal for a little learning disabled friend or relative– or, as per the Guardian article, an adult making up for an impoverished dyslexic childhood of not reading.
September 9th, 2008
Hans Christian Andersen was an amazing paper cutter. Not just sort of good for a writer. His cut paper pictures wink across all this time. I was already deep into this medium when I stumbled upon collaborating as a writer with this master of the art. (Collaborating implies that he had some choice about it which he did not.) Then I illustrated the book with the technique of cut paper just as I had with my earlier children’s book Cinderella (As If You Didn’t Already Know the Story). An odd coincidence to say the least seeing as the storyteller Andersen himself was a notorious cutter of paper. Then again, maybe it is not a coincidence at all, but divine synchronicity.
Andersen never made images with scissors that were intended to illustrate his stories. More they were little presents he made for children he cared about. (Which come to think of it is something I have begun doing, but more about that later.)
As my blog-linking skills develop I will show more paper cutting of Andersen’s (and around the world). It is a medium in which people have expressed themselves in every corner of the globe. I like that it is cheap and binary, and tends to be a crazy mix of figurative and abstract. The paper is there or it is not there: These are the choices. Repetition and chance play an integral part in a process that is like a child’s game. To tell you the truth you cannot make a bad picture with cut paper.
I did not include any of Mr. Andersen’s cut paper in my recently published Thumbelina, Tiny Runaway Bride. Probably I would not have been able to get permission. Interesting that Andersen also combines writing with pen and ink next to the cut out paper images. I love the way that looks.