Olav was a clever boy Who didn’t need a single toy. “That cannot be!” I hear you cry. But true it was, I’ll tell you why. Just sit back and enjoy this story Of Olav’s grand machines of glory.
Photographer Jan von Holleben and author Monte Packham produced a book for children in which young Olav, a master inventor, spends the day building fantastical machines for purpose and pleasure only to discover the most useful and creative machine of all. Set in the inspiring Norwegian landscape, the story is told in lively, playful verse. The photographic illustrations are themselves a kind of invention, each made with a photo print and assembled objects that are re-photographed to create a convincing final image. Offset printed using a wet-on-dry process, the book is typeset in Andersen, a typeface designed by Thierry Fétiveau for young and dyslexic readers.
The Blueberry Machine is a book to captivate a child over many years and to be handed down with fond memories to the next generation of readers. The book presents an opportunity for adults and children to engage with each other to figure out how Olav’s magical world came together and then to experiment with the techniques beyond the pages of the book. The Blueberry Machine is a reminder that less can be more and that the greatest gift for any child is time spent with their adults immersed in creative play and learning. Most children will take the lead and show their parents how to do it, but for parents and teachers in search of ideas and activities to extend the experience of the book, below you will find some playful learning activities for children at different developmental stages, including young artists, inventors, and writers who are already highly skilled. The activities include searching for objects, sorting into categories, rhyming and writing in verse, investigating mechanical functions, and making machines using Jan von Holleben’s techniques.
This book was printed on Little Steidl’s Roland 200 offset-lithographic printing press using a wet-on-dry process. One color is printed individually and allowed to dry for twenty-four hours before the next color is printed. Each sheet passes through the press eight times over a sequence of eight days.
Half-linen hardcover binding with photo-illustrated wraps; stitched book block; reinforced spine, 56 pages, 27 color images, 30 x 21 cm, English, 2022.