When I was first offered Paper Dandy's Horrorgami by Marc Hagan-Guirey, I completely misunderstood what it wOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
When I was first offered Paper Dandy's Horrorgami by Marc Hagan-Guirey, I completely misunderstood what it was I was reviewing. I thought this was going to be a children's - though, granted, older children's - paper craft book, and all it would require would be paper, scissors and folding. I was completely wrong, but this is a really fascinating book!
There are a list of tools and materials needed to create each scene Hagan-Guirey describes, such as a scalpel and blades, and a self-healing cutting mat, and these are not things that I have. So I'm going to review this as it stands, rather than as to how useful it is at helping you create these scenes.
There's a really interesting introduction before the book gets into the various scenes you'll be creating. It's really interesting reading as Hagan-Guirey talks about how he first got interested in craft as a child, his interest in horror and the buildings and gothic architecture used in those movies, how he discovered kirigami, and how his career progressed until he gets to the point of writing this book.
Paper Dandy's Horrorgami is quite complicated and involved. The list of tools mentioned above is included in the How to Use This Book section, which talks you through terminology, the different ways to fold and score the paper, and specific techniques. It's clear that creating the Horrorgami scenes will require a fair amount of time and concentration; it's fiddly stuff, and distractions might cause you to cut or rip the paper, or perhaps cut yourself.
Then we have the step-by-step guides to each scene. There are 20 scenes, which include The Fall of the House of Usher, The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow, Skull Island and Dracula's Castle. The scenes are in order or difficulty, from Beginner, Beginner - Intermediate, Intermediate, and Advanced. Each scene has a photograph of the finished scene without effects, an introduction and difficulty level, a photograph of the finished scene with effects (see below), a six step photographic step-by-step guide with cutting tips and a template on thick card. You can either use the templates to create the scenes or use them to transfer the design to paper. Unfortunately, the templates don't have a perforated line near the centre of the book, so they're not simple to detach. I can't really tell how you're supposed to detach them, unless it's just by cutting them out of the book.
The scenes themselves are really gorgeous, even with the horror theme. Because of the difficulty level, they get more intricate as you go on, but even the scenes early on are really something. The book does make them look better than they would be for anyone using the book, though; coloured lighting and coloured backdrops are used effectively throughout to give the scenes an eerie feel and almost an atmosphere. We won't have that. The only way we can get close is if we use coloured paper. But as I said above, before the step-by-step guides, there is a photo of how the scenes will look without the affects, without the lighting and backdrops, and it doesn't look as cool. But I still think there will be a sense of achievement afterwards and I'm sure we could try and come up with our own methods of trying to create the eerie feeling.
All in all, Paper Dandy's Horrorgami is a great book, and would be wonderful for a Halloween activity, but you will need to make sure you have the tools and the time before trying anything. Not really something for a Halloween party. But still really cool, and it looks fun, and I'm sure those who enjoy paper craft would love this! If you buy all the tools and materials in advance to go along with, this book would make a great Christmas gift to the creative Horror fan in your life!
Thank you to Laurence King Publishing via Midas PR for the review copy....more
As soon as I saw this book on the shelf, I knew I had to have it. Without knowing what it was about. Had toOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
As soon as I saw this book on the shelf, I knew I had to have it. Without knowing what it was about. Had to have it. Last year at work, we had a beautiful window display for Rob Ryan's picture book, The Invisible Kingdom. It was so, so beautiful! And I knew, when I saw This Is For You, I had to have this book for my own, knowing it will be just as beautiful. What I didn't expect was for This Is For You to be so deeply moving!
Everything in this book is papercut - words and pictures cut from paper. Every single page, and there are 64 pages of these intricate, detailed, stunning images. The time and effort that had to have gone into this book is astounding. This Is For You isn't just a book with a cool story/message, it's a complete work of art. Although each image links to the one after for the story, each image is a completely singular thing of beauty. You're reading the story, but you're also amazed by the art!
And then there's the story. It's pretty much a love letter from the narrator - and considering it mentions papercutting, I would assume perhaps, actually, the author - to some unknown person, the person they will end up being with. Think Michael Bublé's "I Just Haven't Met You Yet", in some ways, it's along similar lines. It's a love letter of hope and joy, of yearning and looking forward to no longer feeling "empty" once they're big heart finally holds someone else's too, and of the complete joy that, despite still feeling empty, knowing that emptiness will be filled. With love. It's an absolutely exquisite story; uplifting, full of hope, and profoundly moving.
This book is too beautiful for words, and I absolutely must get my hands on every other book Rob Ryan has written and collaborated on. I am completely awe-inspired....more
I don't normally review children's picture books; I don't have any need, there are no close young children iOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
I don't normally review children's picture books; I don't have any need, there are no close young children in my family, and I don't really get too much from the stories as they are for toddlers. Books for children a little older can be really good, but picture books have never really appealed to me. Until I saw When It Snows.
At 30 pages - including the title pages and the very last page, as they are also illustrated - When It Snows is very short book, with very few words on the pages. The story is very simple, but really sweet. What I love most about this book - and what had me wanting to read it in the first place - are the illustrations. The paintings. They are absolutely beautiful! The attention to detail, the light and shade and the undeniable talent of Collingridge... it's just breath taking. These paintings are something I would love to have hanging on my wall, they're just gorgeous! And you can see the texture of the canvas in the paintings too, which I think is just awesome. Watch the trailer to get an idea of just how beautiful the illustrations are. Go ahead, I'll wait.
As I said, the story is really sweet, too. As well as being very Christmassy, in a very simple way, it gets to the very heart of what reading can do; take you and your imagination off on a magical adventure (or rephrase depending on the genre you're reading). It's a book about reading, and as such, it's a great book to encourage children to read more, as it's saying, "This is the wonder of books, they can take you away again and again".
A simply beautiful, magical picture book. Every child should have one, even if it's just so their parents can enjoy the treasure that it is.
Thank you to David Fickling Books for the review copy....more
I don’t normally review non-fiction, but when emailed by Suza Scalora asking if I would like to review Evidence of Angels, I thought I would give it aI don’t normally review non-fiction, but when emailed by Suza Scalora asking if I would like to review Evidence of Angels, I thought I would give it a go. As I have an idea for my own fictional story regarding angels, Evidence of Angels is classed as research.
This review is going to be a little different from my normal reviews, as I feel I need to explain a bit about me for you to understand my views of the book. I was baptised Church of England when I was younger, and I went to a Catholic school, but I lost my faith along the way and I am now an atheist. I am of the opinion that, although I don’t believe, if other people find peace or joy from their faith, that can only be a good thing. I am fascinated by religion and the people’s beliefs, and I’m envious of what people get from their faith.
I was quite interested in reading Evidence of Angels; as I said, I’m fascinated by what people believe, and was looking forward to reading Suza’s story. It’s full of joy, hope, and peace of mind, and I’m sure those with faith will find it a book full of miracles and comfort. It’s a wonderful story, and the idea that there are all these angels that one can call on in times of need is just lovely.
Even those without faith who have no interest in spirituality will still find enjoyment in Evidence of Angels; the striking photos are just amazing! Suza is a professional photographer, all the images in the book are her own, and one could look at Evidence of Angels as an art book as well as a spiritual book. The photos are absolutely magnificent, so bright and colourful, and just so beautiful. Suza was nice enough to include a note to me on a promotional postcard when she sent me the review copy, and it’s just gorgeous! It will definitely be going on show. This is the type of book you would pick up time and again, if just to look at the wonderful photos.
I could be wrong, but my interpretation of the book is that Suza's story isn't supposed to be a story of "this is exactly what happened", but a story of a fictional journey written to explain an internal journey, so it's half fictional half non-fictional; you're not supposed to believe the words written as fact, but as Suza's spiritual truth. To explain what I mean, it's made clear that the photos have been set up, as explained in the extract below, from an interview with Suza which was included with the review copy, where as the story claims the photos were taken of what was actually physically there at the time.
"I use photography as a tool to communicate something, which is very difficult to see with out human eyes. The photography of angels are representations of the angels I have experience in my own life... The reason I titled this book Evidence of Angels is because photographs are evidence. And quite honestly, some of the best examples of 'proof' lie beyond something that we can hold in out hands because it transcends the material world. Rather, it is a deep sense of knowing within your own self that something larger and more beautiful than we can imagine exists in this world."
Evidence of Angels is such a beautiful book with Suza’s photos and certainty in her beliefs and the existence of angels. It’s a great book, and brought a smile to my face....more