May 29, 2009

Be a BEA fan

This weekend thousands of book lovers will descend upon New York for the 2009 BookExpo America at the Javits Center. Over 500 authors and illustrators will take up residence among 1500+ exhibitors sharing the latest titles in the book business. BookExpo America (BEA) is always a good time, but can be a bit overwhelming for the first time visitor as the cavernous Javits Center can swallow tour groups whole. Check the comprehensive website for the BEA to plan which publishers booths or author signings you want to attend. Also, many exhibitors give away free copies of books so be sure to bring a tote bag to stash your swag!

If you are there on Sunday, be sure to stop by booth #734 between 11 AM to noon to catch Matthew Reinhart promoting his wonderful Nursery Rhymes pop-up book due out in September. The art above is a little sneak peek at some of the colorful characters brought to life in this three-dimensional version of your favorite childhood rhymes. Matthew will be signing at the First Book booth, which is an amazing nonprofit organization dedicated to getting new books in the hands of children in need. So far First Book has delivered over 60 million new books to young readers in communities across the U.S. and Canada.

So if you cannot make it to BEA this year, consider supporting First Book with the money you would have spend on the trip, and remember to visit soon to see more Nursery Rhymes images.

- Kyle

Congratulations Studio and MoMA!

This past week we were notified by the Museum of Modern Art that one of our Holiday cards had won a LOUIE award! Once a year the Greeting Card Association meets with a panel of judges and look through hundreds of cards to find a card to fit within one of the 58 categories. The LOUIE award is named after Louis Prang, who was a German lithographer that is given credit for introducing color printing for cards in the U.S. around 1861.

This year our pop-up Music Box card won the category 'Creatively Finished'!


Check out more information on the Greeting Card Association and LOUIE awards here:

My New Friend, Freddy

The other evening I was wandering aimlessly around the Strand, when I came across something new (to me) in the children's book section. It seemed to combine my current interest in automatons with old children's books - some of my favorite things!The book, titled "The Clockwork Twin", is part of a series written by Walter R. Brooks between 1927 and 1958. The series is about a group of talking animals, especially one in particular: Freddy the Pig. Apparently, these books started going out of print in the 60s, but they've been resurfacing again in recent years - hoorah!

I enjoyed this book quite a lot - it was full of mystery and wonder, good friendships, and sly humor. I've also just finished reading another in the series: "Freddy Goes Camping" and found it just as entertaining.

Freddy has a fan club! Check it out at


Plane's Eye View

Photographer Alex MacLean shows us a view of the world from high up in a plane. He takes mundane things like a parking lot and abstracts them into something beautiful. I really like it because it breaks down our daily lives into utilitarian land distribution - how much space we spend on what.


May 22, 2009

Natural Fashion

Yesterday while window shopping I came across a really fantastic photo book, Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa by Hans Silvester. The photos are of the tribes people from the Surma and Mursi tribes in the Omo Valley. Mainly documenting their body art and 'fashions'. Stringing flowers together and making vails and head pieces. They sometimes use horns as hats, paint their faces in a graphic styles. It's really beautiful to see the ingenuity of the tribes' body decorations. Check out a few more photos on amazon:

Definitely a good coffee table book... and it'll look great on my shelf!

Wizards of Pop

Next Thursday, May 28th marks the opening of “Wizards of Pop” at the NCCIL in Abilene, Texas. Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart worked with The National Center for Children's Illustrated to produce a pop-up exhibition centered around some of their most well known titles. Giant life-size pops from Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz and Dinosaurs will share space with framed original art. There will even be a four-foot tiger from Jungle Book ready to pounce on any unsuspecting visitors. Now you don’t get that in any old art exhibit!

The opening events are as follows:

Thursday, May 28 - 6:30 pm - "Paper Boys"
FREE community Gallery Talk with Sabuda and Reinhart

Friday, May 29 - 6:30 pm - "Pop Culture"
An evening with Sabuda and Reinhart. Check for tickets:

Saturday, May 30 - 10:00 am - "Magical World of Popups"
FREE Children's Workshop with Sabuda and Reinhart

The exhibition will be traveling to other museums and libraries over the next few years, so if you can’t come to Texas; the pop-up may come to you!

- Kyle

May 18, 2009

Concentrated Communication

When I was still in high school I was once treated to a one day course taught by Edward Tufte, about analytical design and the presentation of information. That course was what led me to study graphic design in college.

I highly recommend any and all of Edward Tufte's books and essays - they're even great just for looking at the images he's compiled and reading the captions.

His website is full of discussions and other info as well, check it out!


RGB in the Red

Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) was taking and making color photographs before the revolution and WWI - before it was cool. Check out this website featuring his work and the process he designed himself:


Digital Warhol

Someone sent me a video which has three of my favorite things: Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry, Photoshop. Yes, Photoshop. But not quite Photoshop. He was using an Amiga computer and some sort of digital painting program of the 1980s. I've never heard of an Amiga until I watched this video. Seems that it was around in the 1980s and 1990s.

But, it's pretty great to see Andy Warhol 'paint' Debbie Harry digitally. See for yourself!


May 15, 2009

Multiple Dimensions

This week a surprise arrived in the mail. A View-master with 3-D images of our 3-D books! I haven’t seen one of these red slide reel viewer in years and I haven’t ever seen pictures of our pop-ups POP like this. It was as if Christmas had come early.

Back in December, Ron Labbe and David E. Klutho came by the studio armed with custom camera rigs. These two professional 3-D photographers were in town promoting their new book, In Your Face 3-D: The Best 3-D Book Ever! Most 3-D books that I grew up with were found wanting but this one does live up to its name. (Being an avid rock climber, my favorite anaglyph images in this book are some very dynamic shots of a dreadlocked guy dangling off a rock face.)

3-D images bring a depth and motion to flat photography much like pop-up books raise the characters off of the pages of your favorite fairytales. In fact, before the term pop-up became popular in the 1930’s, many publishers tested terms like 3-D scenes or three-dimensional models to promote their movable books.

Now, I have been exploring stereoscopic images for many years and am a lover of all things 3-D, whether it’s movies, books, comics or video games, so I was very excited to see that Ron was able to use some of the shots he took that day to create a wonderful three-dimensional keepsake. This is definitely one of the coolest gifts we have received from fans.

Check out all the cool information and services Ron Labbe provides at to create your own 3-D goodies.

- Kyle

May 5, 2009

Hey Baby!

This past Friday was a special day for me. May 1st marked the release of Baby Signs, my pop-up teaching tool that shares seventeen essential hand signs to communicate with the pre-verbal child in your life. Baby sign language is a proven system that has been around for many years and the animated illustrations shown in this book are based on the American Sign Language system.

After laboring on this book for over a year, I am very pleased with how the book came out and feel that the pop-up and pull tab mechanisms really lend themselves to the subject matter. This book is the second non-fiction title in the Sabuda & Reinhart venture with Orchard Books (the initial offering was Castle which was actually my debut in the publishing world!).

To celebrate the arrival of my new book I have developed a Baby Signs pop-up card that you can print out and easily make yourself. Please stop by to download the “make-your-own” pop-up, and be sure to check back soon as I plan to offer another pop-up card soon.

So rush right out to your favorite bookseller to get a copy and if you are interested in a signed copy be sure to visit the gift shop at for some freshly autographed fare.

- Kyle

May 1, 2009

How good is your color vision?

A friend of mine sent me a link to a fun little test that measures your color vision. You click and drag the little boxes to arrange them in sequence from one color to another, and in the end it gives you a score and tells you which areas of the color spectrum you might not be able to judge as well.

Some of us here in the studio have gotten perfect scores of zero! It's pretty fun to challenge your friends to the test and see how they fare...try it out for yourself!

(my score....but only the second time around. my first score was 12!)


Weekends in Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Indie Market is back! This is an emerging artist market that is held in Carroll Gardens in (you guessed it) Brooklyn. This summer is their 3rd year in operation! They have all sorts of vendors selling their wares from clocks made out of postcards to hand sewn skirts.

Last summer I was able to take part of the Brooklyn Indie Market and get to know what it feels like on the other side of the table. And this summer, you may find me there again selling some art work. Check out the market's website here:

Oh! And be sure to drop by their shop, they link to the artists' websites! Or better yet, stop by Carroll Gardens to see the market yourself!


One small step for man, one giant footprint for mankind.

I just heard about this new "idea" called "global warming", so I decided to take a quiz to see what my carbon footprint is. We recycle here at the studio so that helps, but I am learning it also has a lot to do with what you eat.

If you are interested you should take the quiz. The results may surprise you.


(oh and the picture of the astronauts was just to get you to read about the quiz.)

(And because astronauts are cool.)