Sunday, May 3, 2009

Caps for Sale

Caps for Sale, told and illustrated by Esphyr Slobodkina, is one of my favorite books from childhood, for both the cleverness and playfulness of the story, and for the color and line in the illustration.

There's an interesting bio of Esphyr Slobodkina at Harper Collins and then there's a site devoted to her lifetime oeuvre at Slobodkina Foundation. This site shows both her children's books and her fine art over the decades. It's very interesting to see the abstract modernist thought process in her fine art in respect to her more folk-arty and representational illustration work-- it makes me look at the later for signs of the former.

When I was a child, I loved the repetition in this book, and I remember the dramatic surprise of seeing the tree with the trickster monkeys in it. I also remember loving the caps-- how there were a few of each kind, and how they were so nicely ordered atop our protagonist's head at the beginning and end of the story.

Not long ago, I heard about a "call for Hats" from NYCreates, asking for hats for people going through chemotherapy, with all hats to then be donated to the Heavenly Hats Foundation. My initial idea was to order some already-comfy hats from a chemo cap supplier, and invite friends over to decorate them. However, one of my crafty friends, Jocelyn Meinhardt, a talented and clever seamstress, playwright and artist, busted out and made three handmade chemo hats from patterns. They are all sturdily-made, beautiful, and styling. One of her 3 hats ended up winning the contest: in this photo, it is the hat in the second row, which is reversible! Both fabrics in this hat are extremely fresh and soft, and full of good feeling.

The the third and fourth row are the caps we decorated: black cap by Jocelyn, white cap with single flower by Emily (our model), tan cap by Laura, and cream cap with flowers by yours truly. We all wish for these caps to comfort and adorn their wearers, and we hope for them to be loving companions on their roads to recovery.