Red Riding Hood, by Lydia L. A. Very, and Jacob Grimm; 1863; Boston, Published by L. Prang.
The first mass-produced book to deviate from a rectilinear format, at least in the United States, is thought to be this 1863 edition of Red Riding Hood, cut into the shape of the protagonist herself with the troublesome wolf curled at her feet.
Produced by the Boston-based publisher Louis Prang, this is the first in their “Doll Series”, a set of five “die-cut” books, known also as shape books — the other titles being Robinson Crusoe, Goody Two-Shoes (also written by Red Riding Hood author Lydia Very), Cinderella, and King Winter.
An 1868 Prang catalogue would later claim that such “books in the shape of a regular paper Doll… originated with us”.
It would seem the claim could also extend to die cut books in general, as we can’t find anything sooner.
As for this particular rendition of Charles Perrault’s classic tale, the text and design is by Lydia Very (1823-1901), sister of Transcendentalist poet Jones Very.
The gruesome ending of the original — which sees Little Red Riding Hood being gobbled up as well as her grandmother — is avoided here, the gore giving way to the less bloody aims of the morality tale, and the lesson that one should not disobey one’s mother.
Dave Devries takes sketches of monsters drawn by children purely from their imagination and renders them realistically giving them a truly devilish look. His collection of drawings and paintings form a 48-page book “The Monster Engine”.
Devries would project a child’s drawing with an opaque projector, and then faithfully trace each line.
Applying a combination of logic and instinct, he then paint the image as realistically as he can using primarily acrylic, airbrush, and colored pencil.
Says Dave Devries:
It began at the Jersey Shore in 1998, where my niece Jessica often filled my sketchbook with doodles.
While I stared at them, I wondered if color, texture and shading could be applied for a 3D effect.
As a painter, I made cartoons look three dimensional every day for the likes of Marvel and DC comics, so why couldn’t I apply those same techniques to a kid’s drawing?
That was it… no research, no years of toil, just the curiosity of seeing Jessica’s drawings come to life.
World Elephant Day. Supported by numerous conservation agencies, it’s a day to “spread awareness, share knowledge, and provide solutions for better care and management of both captive and wild elephants,” according to the organizer’s website.
Elephants face numerous challenges, including poaching, habitat loss, exploitation, abuse, and proximity to human conflict and poverty.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists African elephants as “vulnerable” and Asian elephants as “endangered.”