recent posts

social media menu

Rescued 1970s children's
book cards

One of Alison Sye's fans compares her to a Womble in a comment on the artist's blog. It's a pretty good description: since Alison specialises, just like the fictitious 1970s inhabitants of Wimbledon Common, in "making good use of the things everyday folk leave behind"*.

Among a few other things, Alison does a very nice line in unusual, hand-stitched cards. And right now she's doing a giveaway of a set she's made from a wonderful 1969-published children's book called My Visit To The Dinosaurs by the Philadelphia-born illustrator, Aliki, which she found in a charity shop. The drawings are great, so I thought I'd share.

*Nostalgists old enough to remember, scroll down to the bottom to see the video for this classic children's TV song

I think this is probably my favourite. There are a lot of different faces and they're all expressing different feelings – and lift attendants, you don't get many of those any more. Alison turned it into a father's day card which you can buy in her online shop (details below).

Aliki – also known as Mrs Brandenberg (as per the back page of the book) – was born in 1929 and was living with her husband, Franz, and their two young children in New York around the time this book came out. The dinosaur she drew were inspired by the ones the couple took their children to in NYC's museums.

And this is what Alison has done with them, with a bit of old-school cutting and pasting, stitching and the addition of old cereal boxes and the like...

I like how they're still rough around the edges, and that each one is numbered – like the work of art it is. The fact the words of the story are chopped up and become random is nice too, a bit like the "strangely poetic" Twitterbot, Horse_ebooks (nothing to do with design, but brilliantly addictive if you like that sort of thing, which I do).

And in case you're thinking how sad it is that Alison would cut up a perfectly lovely and very old children's book... well, she only ever uses books on the brink of falling apart and beyond repair.

In fact, she had previously found a copy of this book and not used it because it was in too-good condition. But this one, she says, was "no stranger to Sellotape" and was once owned by a "V Stephens, who once owned a blue biro and had neat handwriting".
The cards, which measure around 14cm x 18cm, are for sale at £5.80 from Alison's Folksy shop (she does other, cheaper postcards too – check out her wares here).

But she's also giving away a set of nine, in a competition on her Facebook page closing on 31 August. Find out all the details on her blog. And read more about the book there too.

Oh yes, and here's that Wombles clip.


  1. Thank you for this lovely write up, Kate. I'm especially pleased that you mention the fact that I only use books that are beyond repair, as this is very important to me.

  2. What a lovely post about the lovely and talented Alison.

  3. Such a lovely book, and the cards look great. Unfortunately I'm old enough not to need reminding of the song!