Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"The least appealing creature on the planet-ee..."

The new exhibit at the Rio is a children's book illustrators show. This is different from any show we've ever done because a) we shipped it in from D.C. and b) it meanders from our mission which is to only exhibit Utah artists. This has one Utah artist and 79 other artists from other states and countries.

We have 80 original illustrations from 80 different children's books. We also have all the children's books. They're in my office. All over. I feel like I'm in a bookstore. I love children books, but so far, I've only taken the time to pick up one of these, and that is Jonathan Lithgow's "I'm a Manatee". (It made me think of my friend Scott who is obsessed with manatees -- like he collects figurines). Not only did Lithgow write this story, he included a CD where he sings the story. I just spent an hour trying to convert the m4a to an mp3 so I could upload the song to my blog, but too many things went wrong so I decided to forget it. Come to my office and I'll play it for you.

My cousin Monica told me about Jonathan Lithgow's books last year. Apparently he's won all these awards. I'm not in the loop when it comes to appropriate material for children because I don't have any, but apparently you need to be careful which children's books you buy -- especially when it comes to celebrity authors. And then there are the shows you let them watch. There are all these kids shows on that I hear people talking about. In fact, Sunday night I was at my niece's 5th birthday party and my family was sitting around talking about television. My brother Carter started the conversation. What used to be "So I was watching the Simpsons..." is now "I was watching Spongebob and it was the one where he..." and then my sister brought up the latest on Yo Gabba Gabba. Has anyone watched Yo Gabba Gabba? It's bizarre. But kids are crazy about it.

I'm familiar with only a few kid shows these days. I don't have cable, but everyone else does, so through them, I've been introduced to the Backyardigans (I still have the mermaid song memorized after singing it to Jack over and over and over) and my personal favorite, Wonder Pets. Lisa showed me Yo Gabba Gabba, but I don't get it.

Anyway, friends with kids, bring them to Gallery Stroll this Friday from 6-9 PM. I think they'll like this show. And if they don't, they can hang out in my office and look through all the picture books. And friends without kids, grown-ups will like it too -- all the workers in the building LOVE it (It's one of our more accessible shows). As always, there will be free food.


ThomCarter said...

You do such great things for the community there. It seems that if it weren't for you, Salt Lake would be totally lame.

But how is one supposed to come to your office and hear the song if they are an admirer on the East Coast?

Ilene said...

Can't stand Yo Gabba Gabba. I DVR all shows for my kids: Little Einsteins, Backyardigans (Jackson's favorite), and Wonder Pets. He also catches a bit of Dora and Diego still and perhaps some other Playhouse Disney thing.

I don't do Spongebob yet either. It is too obnoxiuos for a three-year-old to watch. And for me.

I don't keep up on children's books, is that bad? However my favorite illustrated books are the Toot and Puddle series by Holly Hobbie and the Rhinos who ... series by Julie Mammano. If you are ever looking for fun books for Jack, the Rhinos series is the best and the art lots of fun.

Whew, I'm wordy.

Kev N' Kate said...

I really like that book! I can't remember where I read it/heard it. I think it was some PBS kid show. Oprah. Anyways.