Some New Art Trading Cards!

I’m still on a bit of a sticker collage kick with my art, as you’ll soon see. I’ve always loved the fun, child-like aspect of stickers, so I enjoy finding ways to include them in my art trading cards, especially when I get the chance to feature favorite characters or cherished subjects (like fairy tales). If you like any of these ACEO trading cards, feel free to check out my Ebay store to see what I’m currently selling (most of these new ones I’ll be posting for sale tomorrow)!

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“The World of Fairy” Art Book Review

“The World of Fairy: A Sketch Book & Artists Guide to Fairies”, written and illustrated by Ty Hulse, is fun, interesting and colorful. I immensely enjoyed this book, not only because I have always had an interest in fairies and other magical creatures, but because I learned things I have never read in any other book about fairies. For instance, did you know that in some cultures fairies acted as poltergeists? Or that it was once believed that humans that died at sunset might become fairies because they are caught forever between the living and the dead?

Pretty interesting stuff, huh? One thing that I really like about this book is that it weaves many different types of fairy folklore and mythology together. Some attention is given to the fairies from the British Aisles that we are most familiar with, but there are fairy stories from many other lands included as well. It is fascinating to see the similarities and differences in how various cultures view the world of fairies.

Of course, this book is above all, an artist’s sketch book. The illustrations included are obviously drawn by someone who loves the subject and does their best to visually depict the various types of these creatures. Some of the pictures are in color and some are black & white, but you kind of expect that when you get a glimpse into an artist’s sketch book. This is the kind of book that you could study for hours and hours and still find new details to notice. I would highly recommend this book for fairy lovers, mythology buffs and art enthusiasts everywhere.

To find out more about this book and other fairy tale projects by Ty Hulse, please feel free to visit his fascinating website, http://zeluna.net/. If you would like to purchase your own copy of “The World of Fairy”, it is currently available on Amazon.

“Japanese Folktales for Children” book review

I’ve always been a fan of Japanese culture, particularly anime and manga, so when I was given the chance to review the new children’s book “Japanese Folktales for Children” by Ty Hulse, I was excited. Luckily, the book didn’t let me down. I found it to be a refreshing, fun look at traditional stories from a fascinating land.

This storybook collection includes seven different tales from Japan, each unique both in its subject matter and in the delivery. I had already heard a couple of these stories before, such as “Crane Feathers” and “The Yokai”, but even these stories were a little bit different from the versions I had previously read, so it was still an enlightening read.

One thing that I really liked about this book is that it was able to stay true to its Japanese origin without being too confusing for those who might not be familiar with the traditions and cultures represented. The stories are told in a clear, simple manner that makes them easy to follow, even if you have no idea what a Yokai or Kami might be (there is also a ‘Dictionary of Terms’ included in the book which explains the terms that may be confusing or new to you).

The illustrations that accompany the stories are simple, yet colorful. Although the stories would make sense without the pictures, the art adds a visual element that will help children to identify with the characters and plot of each folktale. The illustrations appear to be hand-drawn, which adds a touch of charm and almost gives off a folk art vibe, which is a great fit for the stories being told.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any family that likes fairy tale or folktale collections. This book would also be great for teachers who are trying to broaden their students’ cultural horizons.

For more information about this book, or to read a sample of the available stories, please visit http://zeluna.net/japanese-fairy-tales-children. It should also be noted that the Zeluna website features an extensive collection of fairy tales and folktales from all over the world, some of which can be pretty much impossible to find anywhere else, so make sure you check those out as well!

Catching up on my fairy tales

The Tortoise and the Hare, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Elves and the Shoemaker, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Ugly Duckling…how long has it been since you thought about these classic stories?

These gems from childhood bring back so many fond memories for me.  For instance, I remember how in 1st grade I played the troll under the bridge in our school’s production of The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  Unfortunately, what I remember the most from that experience is being pushed off the bridge and almost getting a concussion.

Sometimes fairy tales left some psychological damage as well.  When I was little we had a collection of fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, but they were the original stories, not the watered down Disney versions.  I’m not really sure who decided that these stories were appropriate for children, but between all the gruesome deaths and the abuse to animals and children, this stuff became fodder for nightmares during my childhood.

So why did I say that fairy tales bring back so many fond memories?  I guess because I like being twisted and appreciate the quality in others as well.  So why am I writing about all this stuff (besides the simple fact that I was bored and couldn’t think of anything better to discuss)?  I guess because some of these fairy tales seem to have fallen by the wayside, and children don’t even know the stories anymore.  When was the last time you heard any of the following stories told or saw a book about them?

  • The Bremen Town Musicians
  • Tom Thumb
  • Thumbelina
  • The Golden Goose
  • The Goose Girl
  • The Snow Queen
  • The Little Match Girl (my favorite fairy tale of all time)
  • The Nightingale

It seems that with the loss of once-beloved folk tales, we are also losing a bit of our history…a loss that truly strikes my heart with sadness.