Small Packages

little-cardsIn praise of little cards and half-sized envelopes, of compact illustrations and cute designs, the ultimate small packages of Christmas cheer!

Most of our cards and letters come in standard sized envelopes, but mailing the miniature is not a new concept. Sometimes very tiny envelopes were used a century or more ago, perhaps the better to quickly hide in one’s hand away from prying eyes.

But whether your mail overflows the box or tucks into a very tiny corner of it, here’s hoping there’s lots of it.

My Yuletide Return

I’m baaaack! (Which you may have noticed with my kick-off post a couple of days ago). Yes, come the Christmas season and my concomitant yearning for a mailbox full of Christmas cards, I return to my blog, which celebrates all things sent, received, wrapped and anticipated.

With Christmas, our memories and boxes of old decorations feel renewed rather than recycled. And while we may never again be as wide-eyed as those first holidays of our childhood, the magic remains, waiting to be found and shared and, yes, MAILED.

So with a couple of photos from my own daughter’s first Christmas, welcome to the seasonal renewal of Post Whistle.

Ghost of Publishers Past

Just as cards saved through the years recall friends and family of holidays past, so, too, does this cute greeting remind me of the publisher who brought out my first book: Tricycle Press.

That picture book was Why Explore? and Tricycle released it 12 years ago.

Since then, I have discovered that no subsequent book, no matter how well received or even how well written, feels the same as holding Book # 1 in your hands for the very first time. The sensation of being a “published” author is sweet indeed after years of rejection letters.

Tricycle Press went on to publish two more of my picture books before a large publisher acquired its parent company, Ten Speed. That publishing house already had several children’s imprints so they discontinued publishing books under the Tricycle banner and disbanded the imprint’s staff.

It was sad to see them go, but I had a happy ending with my editor from Tricycle, Abigail Samoun. She moved on to cofound Red Fox Literary and took me on as a client, so we still work together.

But I will always remember fondly Tricycle Press where it all began with my first book in 2005. 

 

Packages from Publishers

board-book-in-the-mail

I’ve never had a disappointing package from a publisher. (Disappointing rejection letters, yes, but no one has ever sent me a rejection package.) Even when I’ve seen all of the illustrations in advance for a picture book, and even if I’ve seen a previous version of the book itself, it’s always exciting to peel open an envelope and pull out an advance copy.

In this case, my package contained the new board book version of Old Manhattan Has Some Farms from Charlesbridge, slated for release in spring. It feels great to have a new (old) book hitting the shelves again.

To Your Perfect Porridge!

Isn’t this New Year’s card from illustrator Terry Lim Diefenbach lovely? I look at what she can create with layers of paper and am embarrassed to admit that I can’t even cut wrapping paper without a leaving a jagged edge.

And how about her wizardry in transforming the shadow of the house and chimney into the outline of a Christmas tree?

Even without Terry’s artistry, I can join her in the wish that each of us, indeed, receives just the right porridge this year, whatever that porridge may be.

Christmas Eve Angel

angel

On Christmas Eve I’d like to share with you this lovely angel from a card my friend Susan sent me in 1997. While I cannot look at a picture like this and name the era, I know that styles change and an angel drawn nearly two decades ago will probably be different than angels drawn today. So enjoy this winged beauty from the past and enjoy your Christmas tomorrow.

Merry Christmas

 

Out of this World

space-reuben-h-fleet

While nostalgia usually edges out modernity at Christmas, there are exceptions. When I worked at a science-oriented non-profit several years ago, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center sent me this card of Earth and Moon ornaments. Isn’t the Moon’s shadow on Earth a wonderful touch?

I also received this gift-wrapped planet from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Placing a world suspended in space on white linen and blue ribbon is sheer genius. space-smithsonian

My sister acknowledged the “spacey” side of my personality when she once sent me this Astronaut Santa card. Note how the electronic equipment on his suit is also crimson.space-santa

And I confess that I am the one who picked out cosmic Christmas paper for wrapping gifts this year.

So however far afield your own thoughts or travels take you, have yourself an out of this world holiday season.

Photo Bombed

So my sister sent me the perfect Christmas card for Post Whistle. It has stamps. It has glitter (even if you can’t see it in this photo). It has postmarks. It even lists stamp denominations in pence for that British touch. Naturally, I posed the card in front of the tree for a picture.

Even more naturally, my cat strolled over to investigate.

He clawed the carpet a little to get comfortable…

He sniffed the card…

He knocked it over.

Home photo studios are a challenge.

 

12 Days of Christmas

12-days-unicorn-pear-tree

While the 12 Days of Christmas actually refer to the days AFTER December 25th, I like to think of the song as a final countdown to the big day. Over the years, I have been sent several beautiful cards that reference the carol, but I notice all like to focus on the beginning — the partridge in a pear tree. Where are the eight maids a-milking or six geese a-laying? Instead, I have this exquisite bird and greyhound, reminiscent of a 15th century tapestry.

An Anne Geddes baby shot: 12-days-of-christmas-2

and a foil-trimmed version from my mom and dad:12-days-of-christmas-2-1

And then, there’s this southwestern motif. I know those are quail — and that there are two of them — next to a cactus. Still, it could be a decorated prickly pear, and I don’t mind a quail standing in for its European cousin. prickley-pear

And for a refresher course on all 12 verses: 12-days-of-christmas-2-2