The Mushroom Hunters

Animated by artist Caroline Rudge and Creative Connection Animation Studio, read by Amanda Palmer, music by Jherek Bischoff

THE MUSHROOM HUNTERS
by Neil Gaiman to his newborn son

Science, as you know, my little one, is the study
of the nature and behaviour of the universe.
It’s based on observation, on experiment, and measurement,
and the formulation of laws to describe the facts revealed.

In the old times, they say, the men came already fitted with brains
designed to follow flesh-beasts at a run,
to hurdle blindly into the unknown,
and then to find their way back home when lost
with a slain antelope to carry between them.
Or, on bad hunting days, nothing.

The women, who did not need to run down prey,
had brains that spotted landmarks and made paths between them
left at the thorn bush and across the scree
and look down in the bole of the half-fallen tree,
because sometimes there are mushrooms.

Before the flint club, or flint butcher’s tools,
The first tool of all was a sling for the baby
to keep our hands free
and something to put the berries and the mushrooms in,
the roots and the good leaves, the seeds and the crawlers.
Then a flint pestle to smash, to crush, to grind or break.

And sometimes men chased the beasts
into the deep woods,
and never came back.

Some mushrooms will kill you,
while some will show you gods
and some will feed the hunger in our bellies. Identify.
Others will kill us if we eat them raw,
and kill us again if we cook them once,
but if we boil them up in spring water, and pour the water away,
and then boil them once more, and pour the water away,
only then can we eat them safely. Observe.

Observe childbirth, measure the swell of bellies and the shape of breasts,
and through experience discover how to bring babies safely into the world.

Observe everything.

And the mushroom hunters walk the ways they walk
and watch the world, and see what they observe.
And some of them would thrive and lick their lips,
While others clutched their stomachs and expired.
So laws are made and handed down on what is safe. Formulate.

The tools we make to build our lives:
our clothes, our food, our path home…
all these things we base on observation,
on experiment, on measurement, on truth.

And science, you remember, is the study
of the nature and behaviour of the universe,
based on observation, experiment, and measurement,
and the formulation of laws to describe these facts.

The race continues. An early scientist
drew beasts upon the walls of caves
to show her children, now all fat on mushrooms
and on berries, what would be safe to hunt.

The men go running on after beasts.

The scientists walk more slowly, over to the brow of the hill
and down to the water’s edge and past the place where the red clay runs.
They are carrying their babies in the slings they made,
freeing their hands to pick the mushrooms.

Book Review: 'Twas the Night by Marin

Title: ‘TWAS THE NIGHT
Author: Marin
Publisher: Fontreal
Pages: 32
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Book Blurb

‘TWAS THE NIGHT is a wordless book that “tells” a heartwarming and inspirational Christmas story. The illustrations gift each reader, young and young at heart, the opportunity to reimagine the Season’s wonder, and the freedom “to script” (if they choose to) their own lines to go with the images. Keep dreaming big!

ORDER YOUR COPY

https://fontreal.com/landing-2/

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

What a beautiful book! ‘Twas the Night is full of illustrations that will touch your heart. It tells a sweet Christmas story with no words. It would be a great gift for anyone of any age that can be enjoyed over and over.

I definitely recommend ‘Twas the Night. I also found the information about the author quite interesting.

About the Author

My name is Marin and I was a child a very long time ago. My father passed away when I was one year old. My mother remarried and I was raised by my loving (but strict!) grandparents. After losing their son, they were terrified by the thought of losing their grandson. For this reason, they didn’t let me play on the street, swim in the nearby pond or explore the forest with the rest of the kids. This was also the reason I learned to read and write long before I went to school. My grandparents surrounded me with books. Books became my imaginary parents and my fictional friends. Apart from my genetic building blocks, books also came to be the main component in my development as a creative, compassionate and competitive individual.

I studied nuclear physics, art, and literature, but I enjoyed art the most. As a young artist, I was eager to succeed, winning prizes from various countries. I later became a partner in an advertising agency and switched my attention to serving clients. My last award was somewhere in the early nineties – The Best in the West by Corel Draw Corporation.

Oh, a few more boring things about me: I do not drive, I do not drink carbonated beverages, I have never consumed food from McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC or any other fast food restaurant, I do not have a mobile phone, I have never used legal or illegal drugs (except Gravol when I fly), and I have never visited my GP (much to the disapproval of my wife).

I read. I read every day. I am what I am today because of books. This publishing house is my little “thank you” to all of them.

Website & Social Links

Website  → http://www.fontreal.com

Twitter  → http://www.twitter.com/fontralbooks

Facebook  → http://www.facebook.com/fontreal/

Book Review: The Fall of Icarus by N.R. Bates

Three interconnected short-stories set in Paris explore the issue of choice, survival and transformation. In the first story, a young man on his first business trip is waylaid by an aberrant elevator. In the pivotal tale, a young scientist re-imagines the Greek myth of Icarus and his fall to earth. In the final story, a young woman who cannot recall her own name relates the fantastical tale of a girl who can fly.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Fall of Icarus is 3 short stories. These stories are so short that I wasn’t able to connect with any of the characters, but it was fast reading and I didn’t get bored.

In the first story, The Elevator, I kept waiting for more to happen but it never did. The last sentence almost made up for waiting though.

The second story, The Fall of Icarus, was the shortest and I didn’t care much for it. There just wasn’t a lot to it.

The last story, The Girl, was my favorite of the three. It’s about a girl who tells a couple she meets the story of a girl who can fly. The story she tells kept my interest and there was a surprise at the end.

If you’re looking for a good quick read, I recommend The Fall of Icarus. Even though I didn’t care for one of the stories, it was only 6 pages long.

About the Author

NR Bates was born in London, grew up in Wales, and lived in Canada and Bermuda. He shares his life with his wife and his house with seven cats, one dog and the subtropical wildlife of lizards, wolf spiders and ant colonies that seek out a better life indoors. He is an oceanographer and scientist, and has published more than one hundred and thirty scientific papers on ocean chemistry, climate change and ocean acidification. He is a Senior Scientist at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and Professor of Ocean Biogeochemistry at the University of Southampton, UK. His novels focus on epic fantasy and magic realism, and inspired by his deep love of the ocean and environmental sciences. He has also recently published a small book of short-stories set in Paris, entitled “The Fall of Icarus (The Elevator, The Fall of Icarus, and The Girl)”.

Website http://www.nrbates.com

Book Review: Figure Drawing for kids by Angela Rizza

Draw inspiration from everywhere and everyone—a beginner’s guide to drawing people for kids.

Grab a pencil and an eraser—it’s time to explore the world around you and illustrate the people in it! Featuring a simple, step-by-step format for budding artists, Figure Drawing for Kids is a great way to start sketching friends and family, pop culture icons, and epic superheroes—one easy-to-draw exercise at a time.

Along the way, you’ll learn helpful terms and essential drawing concepts like proportion, negative space, point of view, composition, crosshatch, and more. Figure Drawing for Kids is an action-packed activity book that will surprise and delight kids at all skill levels. Drawing for kids has never been so awesome!

All you need to know is in this drawing for kids’ guide:

  • Practice makes perfect—From sketching basic shapes and shading to advanced skills like perspective drawing, you’ll master 13 figure-drawing activities at your own pace.
  • Draw diversity—Get inspired by a wide range of human sizes, shapes, skin tones, and abilities.
  • Photo fun—Discover how to draw from a photograph, how to set up a model station, and even how to draw the world around you!

Dive in and let the doodling fun begin with this great beginner’s guide to drawing people for kids.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from Callisto Publisher’s Club. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Although it says that this book is for ages 9-12, I think that teens and adults would benefit more unless the 9-12-year-old has some artistic talent. I have no artistic talent, and I practiced on the first activity for quite a while. I still have a lot of work to do, but I’m going to learn how to draw a person no matter how long it takes!

Not only does Figure Drawing for kids teach how to draw people, but it goes into the details of how to show movement, make a scene, draw faces and much more. Shading is discussed also. It has always fascinated me how an artist knows how to use shading to make an illustration look completely different.

I recommend Figure Drawing for Kids for anyone of any age who wants to learn more about drawing people.

About the Author

Angela Rizza graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC in 2011 and since, has been creating artwork in Mahopac, NY. Her work is inspired greatly by the wildlife around her home, and her favorite stories she read growing up. When working on children’s books, she creates images that appeal to her inner child, drawings with lots of details, color, and quality that captures the attention of the viewer. The intricate work is hand-drawn in ink and color is applied digitally, and she is greatly influenced by classical storybook illustrators and her favorite plants and animals.