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As we keep working on our not-yet-to-be-shown projects, we use the opportunity to continue with the awesome books we have recently bought. We could be doing it for a year and more but we’re planning to actually return to showing our creative efforts soon. However, for today enjoy these.

In one of the previous book-related posts we showed you a catalog for Gierymski’s exhibition in Warsaw but that wasn’t all we brought from that show. The museum also published quite a charming companion publication for children. Now, we’re great fans of this kind of part-educational, part-entertaining materials accompanying exhibitions (hint, hint, we’d love to make some) and are often a little disappointed by their quality and lack of original ideas. But this one is actually what we might expect, with nice design and illustrations, tasks that make sense and even a pleasant kind of paper.

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Alice in Wonderland and the Moomin series are some of these books that you don’t even have to come across in early childhood and you will still enjoy them and then the magic just stays with you forever. They are even not so much about storylines – though we love those too – as about the atmosphere. So finding a combination of both in Tate’s bookstore in the form of Alice illustrated by Tove Jansson left us dumbfounded with delight. Apparently this was originally a Swedish edition then published by Tate in English and Jansson’s illustrating style matches wonderfully the dreamy nature of Carroll’s story. We’ve seen many versions of Alice‘s illustrations and normally we will always pick the classic version by John Tenniel, but this one is definitely worth having. Maybe because it has this nostalgic quality that books from childhood will have for adults.

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And the last book is perhaps the most stunning of all. The High Street by Alice Melvin apparently won some sort of award for best new illustrator and no wonder at all. We also found it in Tate and fell in love with it but when we read it our fascination increased even. It tells a story of a girl gone shopping through an array of old-fashioned little shops, each selling one type of products rather than everything, mall-style. In this it basks in the passing (or maybe returning? that would be awesome) glory of small shops. The illustrating style is lovely in that it combines a bit of theme-becoming old-fashioned-ness with modern clarity. This is exactly what we love, especially seeing as each illustration has a lot of details and you can look at it over and over. But the best part is that the illustrations showing shops can be folded out to reveal the inside of the shop! Now, I’m quite secure in saying that many of you must share our fascination with the inside of buildings that you only see from the outside. As children we loved this kind of drawings and we still do. So, this is a perfect little book, both in idea and execution (it even has a plot twist!), and we encourage you to buy it, should you have a chance (no, no one is paying us for all these recommendations though they may, if they want to).

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We didn’t see as much of London as we had planned but we did visit a whole lot of museum gift stores and today we’ll show you how our collections of pocket pop-up books is growing. We bought the first ones in Paris but Britain has more of them: we found five (to Paris’ three). However, sorry but the French name Petit pop-up panoramique wins with English A Three-Dimensional Expanding Guide. No challenge there.

Still, the illustrations are just as charming (by the same illustrators, mostly) and we were thrilled each time we found a new one in a bookstore. We’re easily amused people.

re-popup-02 We didn’t see a whole lot of royal palaces but we liked the book.

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We did manage to visit Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey (the square quite a few times because we went to the National Gallery twice and also you always seem to end up there when you start doing touristy things).

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And of course we’ve already told you about Tate Modern a few times. We enjoyed the bookstore there too.

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We didn’t hope for much from the Tower of London but we were pleasantly surprised: what an entertaining place it actually is. And the ravens were awesome.

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But our favorite was the last find, Shakespeare, which we only discovered at the Globe, where we just dropped in for a few minutes on our last day. One side shows places connected with Shakespeare’s biography but the other one shows scenes from various plays, which is very refreshing after all the architecture of the other volumes. It helps that we’re currently re-reading all of Shakespeare, probably.

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re-model_city-02This year the Museum of Gdynia celebrated the Night of the Museums with a presentation of the city’s special brand of modernism. We had the pleasure of designing and illustrating an activity card for the participants. It gave us the rare joy of drawing buildings and playing with modernism-inspired typography. We showed you sketches when we were working on them but today we have the final product to share.

re-model_city-05The card is double-sided and folds into a map-like shape, with an actual map on the back. Each part presents one characteristic building and suggests tasks to work on, such as drawing, comparing facades or filling in a crossword puzzle.

re-model_city-06As you may imagine, we had a lot of fun with the buildings, and just as much with the illustrations of people in their old-fashioned outfits (Gdynia was built at the beginning of the 20th century and is rather proud of its relatively fresh legacy).

re-model_city-03 re-model_city-04These days Gdynia has a nicely modernized train station (it used to be pretty horrific a few years ago) and during renovations they discovered quite charming mosaics, which look something like this:

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Obviously, this was another part that we quite enjoyed illustrating.

re-model_city-07 re-model_city-01And the fun model of the building made of laser-engraved wooden board is courtesy of Architektura+ foundation, who were responsible for many aspects of the whole event.

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As more of dog persons we started a while ago our project on famous pets in 8 bit with dogs. But the time has come to pay tribute to famous felines. Though less numerous than dogs, the group includes many illustrious characters that grin, love lasagna, chase small creatures and are altogether loveable.

re-cats-8-bit-poster-holdingre-cats-8-bit-posterAll the cats are signed at the bottom of the poster and at the bottom of this post. You can also buy a print here and here, should you be so inclined.

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Here’s the list of the featured felines: 01 Catbert / Dilbert / cat 02 Tom / Tom & Jerry / cat 03 Heathcliff & Sonja / Heathcliff / cats 04 Felix / Felix the Cat / cat 05 Hello Kitty / Hello Kitty / cat 06 Puss in Boots / Puss in Boots / cat 07 Nyan Cat / YouTube / cat 08 Cowardly Lion / The Wizard of Oz / lion 09 Cheshire Cat / Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland / cat 10 Eek / Eek! The Cat / cat 11 Mr. Jinks / Pixie & Dixie / cat 12 Tigger / Winnie-the-Pooh / tiger 13 Garfield / Garfield / cat 14 Aslan / The Chronicles of Narnia / lion 15 Battle Cat (Cringer) / He-Man and the Masters of the Universe / tiger 16 Sylvester / Looney Tunes / cat 17 Pink Panther / The Pink Panther / pink panther 18 Hobbes / Calvin & Hobbes / tiger 19 The Cat / The Cat in the Hat / cat 20 Top Cat | Fancy-Fancy | Benny the Ball | Brain | Choo-Choo | Spook / Top Cat / cats 21 Mufasa & Simba / The Lion King / lions 22 Bagheera / The Jungle Book / black panther 23 Azrael / The Smurfs / cat 24 Figaro / Pinocchio / cat 25 Schrödinger’s cat / quantum physics / 50% alive cat

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