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We’ve been gifted this week with a bit of snow, the pretty kind which covers everything in white glory (before it turns to gray sludge that will occupy the city till April, that is). As snow is only enjoyable for a short time when it first falls, we took the opportunity to bring J to the woods so he could brave the snowdrifts – which he did.

Also, as his obsession with Ikea rats does not seem to diminish, he demanded that we build him a snow rat – which we obediently did. So this week instead of a proper design job, please enjoy our sculptural efforts.

As you well know, these pseudo-lifestyle posts are not what this blog is really about – so no worries – but some weeks you find more creative outlets in building the snowrat than in proper design work and it seemed only appropriate to document that.

It is one well-pleased, well-fed snowrat.

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As you may or may not remember, we are big fans of the illustrator Emilia Dziubak and her detailed, colored style, which plays with flat design but goes far beyond it. But her book that we’re sharing with you today, Rok w lesie (A Year in the Woods) is even more than we would have any right to expect. It combines pretty much everything that we love in children’s illustration: details, narration, humor and forest animals.

Each spread of the book shows the same woodland scene with the same animals doing things appropriate for every month. You can see not only the changes in the weather and plants but, most importantly, the different activities in which animals are involved. A huge level of detail means that one can return to the book many, many times, each time finding something new and delightful. The things animals do combine the educational aspect with a lot of good humor. And being very much woods-loving people who try to go for a walk there at least every two days, we find the depiction of the woods charming.

Except for the names of the months, most of the book is wordless, which makes it accessible to younger children (ones who will be able to follow the details, though). The last spread has a list of various animals with a character quirk for each so that one can look for those in the book. It’s actually quite fun to browse through the book multiple times, each time focusing on just one animal and their story.

Book cover.

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Spread for January, more appropriate now that we’ve got some snow.

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April and December

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The introduction to individual animals.

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And now for some highlights from the lady fox’s story of love and family:

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Featuring the cutest baby foxes.

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And the badger’s story of eating and sleeping.

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