Sylvie reads A Bad Case of Stripes.
From the first chapter of The Devil's Cloth : A History of Stripes:
In the medieval Western world, there are a great number of individuals — real or imaginary — whom society, literature, and iconography endow with striped clothing. In one way or another, they are all outcasts or reprobates, from the Jew and the heretic to the clown and the juggler, and including not only the leper, the hangman, and the prostitute but also the disloyal knight of the Round Table, the madman of the Book of Psalms, and the character of Judas. They all disturb or pervert the established order; they all have more or less to do with the devil.
In the Middle Ages, Fortune, who turns the wheel of destiny for man, often wears a striped robe. Today, on a playground, the schoolchildren in striped clothes always seem more active than the others.
Thanks to the frequent wearer of stripes, Rose Gowen.
While he eats his lunch, Luke reads The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. Vashti thinks she can't draw, until her art teacher tells her to "just make a mark" and sign it. She does, she makes one little dot in the middle of a blank page, and the next day she sees that her teacher has framed it in gold and displayed it behind her desk. Once Vashti's taken that first step, she becomes an inspired dot artist, an obsessed one even. This is a lovely story about creativity, inspiration, and hard work -- a good one for grown-ups as well as kids.
Famed conceptual artist and provocateur Damien Hirst has said of his spot paintings: "I only ever made five... myself ... And my spots I painted are shite. ... The best person who ever painted spots for me was Rachel. She's brilliant. Absolutely fucking brilliant. The best spot painting you can have by me is one painted by Rachel." Rachel Howard was one of his assistants. There are around 1000 "Hirst" spot paintings, the first of which was painted directly onto a gallery wall, and they are supposedly popular in Japan and Korea. Two essential books by Hirst are On the Way to Work and I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now. Nice sentiment.
Here's a do-it-yourself (dot-it-yourself?) version:
Those circles were cut out of paper and applied with double-stick tape. The process took a couple of hours -- I suggest going one better and using stickers.
This is the film adaptation of Norman Juster's The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics, directed by Chuck Jones. It won an Academy Award for best animated film in 1965. Juster is better known for his classic children's book The Phantom Tollbooth. Laura Miller interviewed him about the two books back in 2001. Norton, who was born in 1929, is a retired architect and is still writing books -- his latest, The Odious Ogre was illustrated by Jules Ffeiffer and just came out at the beginning of September.