Monday, January 06, 2014

Iris: A Hippo Story

In 1995 or thereabouts, I wrote a poem about a hippo and made it into a book for my sister. I don’t remember the specifics, other than once every five years I would remember to do something nice for her (also she told me once that she had read that Mikhail Baryshnikov told Lea Thompson that she was too stocky to be a ballerina, and I guess that stuck with me).
I had read somewhere that with a children’s book, for a given age, some percentage of the vocabulary should be a little more advanced than that age, and since my sister was going into grad school at the time, some of the words in here are from a GRE study guide (the original book had a glossary in the back; here I put them in as comments — this was before the internet made this look as condescending as it does now).
To give you some idea of how much I know about anything, the illustrations were done by sketching them in significantly different styles in a sketch book, scanning these drawings in and printing them on standard printer paper, then WATER COLORING THE PRINTER PAPER (if you don’t know why this is a bad idea rest peacefully in the knowledge that it is a bad idea) and then going over that with pencil where I thought it still looked too bad. This perfectly yielded the amateurish yet extremely fussy look I was going for no just kidding I just don’t know how to do anything. Then I gave it to Kinkos and asked them to wiro-bind it because that’s the classy way to bind things.
I also gave a copy to a few other people, including my parents. My dad always liked it a lot, and I thought I would put it up here as a sort of tribute to him. There are a lot of things I would change about it now, but there are still some things I like about it. If you like it, find someone and be nice and/or funny to them, which is what my dad liked to do. XOXO

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