Rilla Alexander and Her Idea

I got the opportunity to meet the children’s book maker Rilla Alexander at Green Bean Books recently.  She was there to read her book Her Idea, (from Flying Eye Books) a lively picture book about how to work on all those wonderful ideas we have.

I went with two boys from my neighborhood, Bridge Meadows, Tomas and Noah Tanatchangsang, ages 5 and 9, respectively — though they look much older with their mustaches bought for $1. at the Green Bean mustache vending machine.

Rilla engaged the boys immediately and talked with them about their own art.  They talked about dragons, dinosaurs and making books.  She showed them a recent sketch of an alligator of hers on her cell phone.   
The book she was going to share with us came from ideas about a book with eyes, a book about ideas, and a book that is a book about books.  All merged together in Her Idea

It stars her alter ego, Sozi, a little masked girl, who has lots of ideas.   
Her Ideahas a die cut cover for the ideas to jump in and out of.

Karishma stopped by earlier and enjoyed the interactive elements of the cover

Take off the book cover, and you see its personality.

Sozi has boatloads of ideas.

She’s all gung-ho to work on those ideas.

But working  proves more difficult than Sozi realized.

She dissolves into lethargy with so many wadded up pieces of paper they become a big beast.  But a book brings her hope and a way her capture her ideas.

And other stuff, too!

I love that Rilla writes books that honor books.  Her first book, The Best Book in the World, was about the way a book can pull you in, even in the midst of the busiest of days.

For Her Idea, Rilla designed little idea toys.

She brough squillions of ideas

She also brought a big book for us to fill with ideas.

Noah’s idea was to go to the moon to see the stars

Tomas’s idea was for a yellow tricerotops named Banana

Her Idea is a fun read for kids and former kids alike, because we all have great ideas up to the point when we have to work on them.  Rilla has a great video on the creative process and this book on Vimeo, which you can see here:
We had such a good time with Rilla’s presentation, Tomas asked me if we could go back next week-end to see that cool lady again.  Unfortunately, we don’t get to see Rilla right away, but we can always go to the programs at Green Bean, an independent children’s bookstore here in Portland, Oregon.

You can find out more about them and their events here;

It’s easy to get lost in a great book

And a great book gets a good laugh!
Rilla is from Australia, has lived in Berlin and is now a resident of Portland, Oregon.  She’s a designer and graphic artist whose work has appeared on everything from “toys to teacup to busses and buildings.”  Her website is here:  
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