Yesterday I gave a talk at Simon Fraser University on book design and publishing practices — while I was researching I found a new moomin app. Of course there are moomin apps, why didn't I think of it! 


Today I'll be at the Alcuin Society's symposium on the printed and the electronic book called The New/Old Book. Chipp Kidd and Marian Bantjes will be speaking. It's been a while since I took a day off for professional practices.

Homemade cheese crackers

I tried making these cheese straw-ish crackers for a little party (our tiny moomin birthday), and I think it's a good back-pocket recipe. It's a nice healthy snack that holds a cookie cutter shape well, so it's nice for lunchboxes or party plates. The original recipe is here at 101cookbooks. I don't have much to add, other than: roll the dough as thin as you can. If these were for adults, I would add in a ton of cracked pepper and some rosemary. (The shapes are snufkin & moomintroll — our moomin cookie cutters are half gifted and half from ebay).

New play-doh

I've been banging on and on about how great it is that spring is here and summer is coming and meanwhile it turns out that Auggie's favourite season is the autumn. His main reasons are the leaves and our autumn birdfeeder

We did spend a lot of time this past fall looking at leaves and one windy afternoon we watched hundreds of  bright yellow leaves blow off the trees outside our living room window in big gusts. It made more of an impression than I realized. So we used some leaf-shaped cookie cutters to make autumn leaves and we're also up to page 87 of Moominvalley in November — to be honest I am surprised, it's a pretty low-key storyline, but he requests it every few days. 

This is a good feeling!

Update: I am just using store-bought play-doh — there are only so many hours in a day sometimes —but if you want to make your own, here is a whole web site devoted just to play dough recipes, so whatever you have handy in your kitchen, I expect you can find a recipe there to suit you.

The Summer Book

We love the stories and illustrations of Tove Jansson, and we were lucky enough to grow up reading her Moomin tales.

This week on BBC 7, you can listen to her 1972 novel The Summer Book. The program will be available for seven days after the initial broadcast. However, the best way to experience the book is to read it.

The Summer Book is not a children's book. It's about a young girl and her grandmother spending a summer together on a small island in Finland. This is a good summary and review: Together they amble over coastline and forest in easy companionship, build boats from bark, create a miniature Venice, write a fanciful study of local bugs. They discuss things that matter to young and old alike: life, death, the nature of God and of love. It's a very beautiful book. This much-loved copy is a Christmas present from Judith to Robin.