26 January 2021

Illustrations


Over in Ludwigsburg, Germany a certain blogger hatched a plot. She wanted to give her sister a unique birthday gift. She remembered a story that she and her sister conceived when they were little girls - "How The Cat Lost Its Thumbs".

The idea was to put the story into book form with illustrations. What a lovely gift this would be but who could create the necessary pictures? The blogger, Ms Meike Riley who is the custodian of "From My Mental Library" had a sudden brainwave. Yes! She would ask Grandpa Pudding over in Yorkshire, England. He could draw the pictures.

Meike offered me money to do the job but I declined and said that my preferred payment would be a copy of the book. When you are a retired teacher in a pandemic you have oodles of spare time and so I set to work, following Meike's fairly precise instructions.

To tell you the truth, I enjoyed this task and it was most delightful to receive my silver bound finished copy of "How The Cat Lost Its Thumbs" . I also received an e-mailed "thank you" message from Meike's sister who prefers to remain anonymous. It felt nice to be part of a cunning plot - just like another Yorkshireman who went by the name of Guy Fawkes. 

If I am still alive when our Phoebe is two or three years old I shall put her on my knee and read the story to her. And she will look at the illustrations, pointing out the cat who lost its thumbs and maybe she will say "Again! Again!"

78 comments:

  1. What a lovely gift and your illustrations are so charming. I'm sure Phoebe will enjoy the story when she is old enough to sit on Grandpa's knee. There's nothing nicer for a grandparent and grandchild than a story telling afternoon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for calling by and leaving a lovely comment Jo. What's the weather like up in Fife today?

      Delete
  2. I suspect you enjoyed doing those drawings but what a wonderful and generous thing to do. Phoebe will absolutely treasure the story that her clever grandpa illustrated. (Clever Meike too for coming up with the concept.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope that she will also be a creative human being like her mama, her uncle and the guy who sits in the rocking chair looking to the sunset - Old Grandpaw Pudding.

      Delete
  3. Both to my eyes and I expect young eyes, the illustrations look great. I can't imagine the text of a cat losing its thumbs though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a way of revealing how cats have become so dependent upon humans. After all, you cannot open a can of cat food without thumbs.

      Delete
    2. Andrew, you are very welcome to read the whole story (without pictures) here on my blog:
      https://librarianwithsecrets.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-cat-lost-its-thumbs.html

      Delete
  4. How wonderful! Neil, those illustrations are beautiful. Well done! Of course you will be around in two or three years to read this to Phoebe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You never know Jennifer. A man of my acquaintance and my age dropped dead from a heart attack over the weekend. Two years ago I sat beside him at a wedding feast.

      Delete
    2. A woman of my age and acquaintance (several years ago) dropped dead from a brain aneurysm one morning while getting ready for work. She was only 40 years old. We went to high school together. So of course anything can happen to any of us at any time....but I truly believe your luck will hold and you'll be around to see little Phoebe grow up! Stop being so pessimistic!

      Delete
    3. Okay Auntie Jen! I will try.

      Delete
  5. Neil, I also enjoyed our team work a lot, and am so happy how your illustrations turned out - as you know, my original idea was to draw them myself, but I knew I would never get them "right", and you did!!
    Once more, thank you very much for your part in this; it would not have been the same without the pictures. We all love them, especially the details such as that you wrote "Katze" on the cat's dish, or that there is a picture of the Lion in the lady's kitchen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha-ha! I am glad that you spotted those two details!

      Delete
    2. Of course I did! I looked at each and every picture very closely. They are great!
      If you like, you can include a link to the story on my blog:
      https://librarianwithsecrets.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-cat-lost-its-thumbs.html

      Delete
  6. What a lovely thing to be part of. Your illustrations are really good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely is the right word. Thank you Debbie.

      Delete
  7. What a great birthday present. Super illustrations YP. Another string to your bow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could draw a picture of Shrek and write "Dave Northsider" beneath it. I am just being silly again. Thanks Dave!

      Delete
  8. You are truly a Renaissance man. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leonardo will be chuckling about that Mary - in his grave in Amboise, France.

      Delete
  9. You are indeed a man of many talents YP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should me can can dancing in my ostrich feather skirt.

      Delete
    2. Ummm perhaps not.

      Delete
  10. Well, thank goodness the cats HAVE lost their thumbs. I shudder to think what would happen to us if the cats didn't need us. Very well done, both YP and Meike.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a lovely tale that Meike and her sister dreamt up.

      Delete
  11. Well. I am astounded! What wonderful illustrations for what I'm sure is a lovely book. And such a timely project, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps a publisher will spot it, put it into bookshops across the world in twenty different languages and the three of us will become fabulously rich!

      Delete
  12. That's beautiful! I didn't know you were an artist too. Phoebe will love knowing that her grandpa drew the pictures. Very cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who knows? It might inspire me to make a book specially for her... "Once upon a time there was a little baby girl..."

      Delete
  13. Well done to everyone involved. But eeergh what hairy fingers! What is that sheep at the back doing?

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am very impressed and I love that you chose to have a copy of the book instead of cash! The book is something for your family to treasure forever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not a mercenary Jan.

      Delete
    2. That is for sure and we are proud of you for that as all your family will surely be....

      Delete
  15. What a fabulous talent. I am not usually an envious person but just occasionally I succumb to the Fourth of the Seven Deadly Sins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Seven Deadly Sins are often ordered differently so are you saying you are slothful?

      Delete
    2. When I was 5 or 6 at school I learned: Pride, Covetness, Lust, Envy, Anger, Gluttony, Sloth. I assume that was the order somewhere in the Bible.

      I should also have commented that what I really wanted to know was how the cat lost its thumbs.

      Delete
    3. Go here Graham:-
      https://librarianwithsecrets.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-cat-lost-its-thumbs.html

      Delete
    4. Oh my gosh. I can't believe that I read that all those years ago and have no recollection of it whatsoever. Thank you, YP.

      Delete
  16. That's awesome! You should get it commercially published!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have certainly read inferior children's stories that still got published.

      Delete
  17. What a lovely thing to do for Meike, I used to make up bedtime stories for my children their favourite was about a naughty schoolgirl called Norma nobbly knees and all the tricks she would play on everyone, they would howl with laughter and 40 years later they still remember some of the stories. You should start a book for Phoebe about how Clint would help fake Fred find Beau & Peep who’d run away with the laughing horse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha-ha! Nice one! By the way was Norma really you when you were a little girl?

      Delete
    2. No I was a good girl, my uncle was the science teacher at my school and it would have been letting the family down if I was naughty.

      Delete
    3. Pull the other leg, it's got bells on!

      Delete
  18. Your next illustrated book could be: *Inside the Bear Pit*.
    I shall publish it under my new imprint, The Tattered Flag.
    Your photo of the Tattered Flag, rippling above a snowy Sheffield, is splendid.
    Years ago I met a European brown bear, named Hercules.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was it the same bear that was kept by a pub landlord up on Sheriffmuir near Stirling in the nineteen seventies?

      Delete
  19. It was, Neil.
    The man who wrestled playfully with Hercules was brave Andy Robin.
    Bears I adore, but I was shocked that Komodo Dragons are on view in London and Colchester zoos. Children sponsor and adopt them.
    I would wipe them from the face of the earth along with crocodiles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In my view konodo dragons belong on the island of Komodo in Indonesia and not in European zoos.

      Delete
  20. What a great story Mieke and her sister created and your illustrations are beautiful. I especially love the rooftop cats. There must be a publisher out there waiting for a gem like this. I hope so as I'd love a copy for story time in the future.
    Cats are endlessly fascinating to their humans as we try and work out what they're thinking.
    My tabby is lying flat in the doorway trying to catch a breeze on another 34 degree day.
    Too hot for any outdoor work today. Enjoy your wintry walks.
    Adele

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You cruel woman Adele! Rubbing in the fact that you are basking in summer while we are proceeding through our COVID-tinged winter

      Delete
  21. Two stories in one ... cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like being in a blogging supermarket!

      Delete
  22. How wonderful! I'm sure that must be an all time favorite gift for Meike's sister! It was so smart of Meike to think of doing this and of course she knew the perfect person to illustrate it! You never know, you could have a part time retirement job as an illustrator!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a talent I have that usually lies dormant Bonnie.

      Delete
  23. Everyone has already commented on what a lovely gesture you made with your excellent illustrations. Perhaps we'll have chance to read the book too - we're all intrigued to learn how the cat lost it's thumbs!
    It won't be long before you'll be able to sit little Phoebe on your knee and read the story to her. Please, YP, do think positively - you'll be around for a long time yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear CG - You can read the story here:-

      https://librarianwithsecrets.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-cat-lost-its-thumbs.html

      Delete
  24. They grow 10 feet-long in Indonesia, can smell their prey two miles away, and run faster than Bill Sikes' dog.
    Mind you, if an angry reptile-owner turned up at my door, with his pet Komodo on a lead, I would fall down on my knees, and apologise to the slavering beast from Hell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think there is enough evidence here to suggest that you may benefit from counselling John. You are clearly severely herpetophobic.

      Delete
    2. Aye, you've got me there. But how could David Icke think the Queen Mum was a lizard? The ould lad needs Sectioned. Plus he don't wear a mask.

      Delete
    3. Are ye telling me that The Queen Mother was not a komodo dragon?

      Delete
  25. What a lovely project to be part of. Phoebe will be able to tell her friends her grandpa did all the drawings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your words are encouraging. I may make her her own special book - with words and pictures all by me.

      Delete
  26. That has to be a most fulfilling project for you both!

    I once wrote a story for my niece but had no idea how to get it illustrated and so it became one of those not quite complete things that happen in life.

    I love the simplicity of the black and white and I remember that detailed illustrations added a whole extra level or two to story reading ...back in the day. It's a keeper

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have made coloured illustrations but Meike did not want that.

      Delete
  27. What a lovely gift, up, down and all around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Joanne. It was nice to be a co-conspirator.

      Delete
  28. I see your comments at other blogs and realized I should pay you a visit. I'm glad I did. The book is lovely.

    Love,
    Janie Junebug

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very welcome here Janie as long as you do not smoke within the blog.

      Delete
  29. I don't see a follow button to click. What do I need to do to follow you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry Janie, I do not have a "follow" facility. This blog began long before the idea of "following" came along.

      Delete
  30. Not all cats: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polydactyl_cat#/media/File:Polydactylcat.jpg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well-researched sir - but please don't tell the writers of the tale!

      Delete
    2. The writers of the tale are well aware of that particular kind of cat - so some of them DID get their thumbs back somehow... could be the plot for a sequel to our first story.

      Delete
  31. What a wonderful collaboration of two very talented people. Your illustrations are beautiful Neil, and the book will be treasured for the elements that make it truly personal and special for all those who have a copy; always the very best kind of gift.

    ReplyDelete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

Most Visits