Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum by Kate Bernheimer and Nicoletta Ceccoli

My amazing readers! Do not fret; I have not abandoned you. I've just been under the weather (and over the moon...) for the past week, and in the excitement neglected my favorite little corner of the web.

In the interim, I met the amazing/amusing/fantastic Penelope Bat, but that's another story for another post. :D Just let it be known that she is every bit as cool as she is on her blog, Cocoa, and she has exciting news for the lot of you. (It's a surprise! As a trade, I showed her the location of the Secret Stash, which I only reveal to the best people ever. Problem is that I know so many of them...)

Anyway. Book!

girl inside castle museum There, through that window, right there.

Do you see her?

It's been said she's lived there forever.

Did you ever wonder if there were tiny people sharing your world? The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum spins the tale of a tiny blonde girl in a castle full of "music and grace," with checkerboard floors, flying windup toys, cuckoo clicks and pinwheels. Even in this dream world, she longs for company, and reminisces about those who made the journey to her castle. But wait! She has an idea to light up her lonely world--and you can help her.

Kate Bernheimer is a fairy tale scholar; her background shines through the simple but lovely writing. However, my true love is for Nicoletta Ceccoli's art. She brings the tropes of pop surrealism--big headed waifs, old-fashioned toys, dream ballets--to a young audience. (Has anyone done a collection of pop surrealist picture books? Rock-a-Bye La Rue Gallery? Anyone?) Her palette is muted sea and fog tones, with touches of acid green, cerulean blue and raspberry red for liveliness. Every time I look through the book, I find a new detail: buttons atop crenellations, a wheeled fish, pom poms and flowers in visitor's hair. It's a picture book unlike anything else you've seen before, and if you love other worlds, museums, modern surrealism and fables, it's a must-read for the younger folk in your life.

*An interview with Kate Bernheimer

*Illustrated review at 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast


*Nicoletta Ceccoli illustrates marvels with a style that splashes color and whimsical details in soft, mystical dreamscapes. I confess that I have altogether too much fun playing around with the Book section of her website. Che bellissima, Nicoletta!

*Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle is a legend amongst miniaturists, an epic, intricate love letter to fairy tales and legends.

*Not all sweetness and light? Alexandra Blythe's miniature work, with its bagpipe-playing octopuses, naughty fairies, exquisite cabinets of curiosity and bemused baby dragons, may be your cup of tea

*The Toymaker is a papercrafter's delight, with the same sort of classical-but-modern fantasy feel as The Girl in the Castle.

*Ullabenulla is a fellow lover of all things fanciful and miniature, and curates her own beautiful little dollhouse, with a hat and pastry shop inside!

* Inspired? Create your own teeny doll house. I spy a Dame Darcy creation inside!


carey said...

i so need to read that book. why are small things so wonderful?

carey said...

also? how did i not know about the castle at the museum of science and industry? i need to go there right now.

Penny Lane said...

oh i always wondered such things when i was a kid! sheesh, i still do. wonderful, its going on the list ♥

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