Let’s kick off 2013 with something completely different – a subject NEVER before broached on the Catapult (at least as far as I can remember): a children’s book. Gasp!
Jack and Holman Wang are two Canadian brothers who got together and created this amazing series of books for little tykes called Cozy Classics (published by Simply Read Books.) Why should little kids be deprived of classic literature just because they can’t cognitively process complex sentence structures? The brothers broke down some novels (so far, Pride & Prejudice, Moby Dick, War & Peace, and Les Miserables) into 12 essential “child-friendly words” accompanied by images of needle-felted dioramas to illustrate the scene. The result? Pure, hilarious freakin’ genius. I think Holman is the needle-felter and DANG, check this Moby Dick action out:
Here I was, stupidly trying to wade through the actual 600-page Melville text. Ha! Fool! And I think we all know that the only way I would ever read Pride and Prejudice is if it was broken down into twelve words and illustrated by felt figurines.
As a bonus twist of the fates, Jack Wang is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s creative writing program – where he studied alongside the Book Catapult’s own Scott Ehrig-Burgess. Now Jack teaches creative writing at my alma mater, Ithaca College. If that bio doesn’t get you onto the Catapult, man, I don’t know what does.
And now for some speed-needle felting: